IMAX on track for “best year ever”
July 31, 2019
By Chris Forrester
Rich Gelfond, CEO at giant screen company IMAX, summed up its half-year results by saying: “IMAX is on track to deliver its best year ever at the box office, with the success of Spider-Man: Far From Home, The Lion King, and our record-breaking, first local language animated release in China this past weekend, Ne Zha, leading a strong second half film slate and building on our solid first-half.”
Indeed, China is working better and better for IMAX. Its Chinese box office rose 28.8 per cent year-on-year for Q2 to $236 million.
However, successful movies such as those mentioned by the CEO helped drive the IMAX global box office which rose 6.6 per cent and quarterly revenue to IMAX of $104.8 million, and a gross profit of $59.6 million.
Gelfond is expecting low double-digit growth in its global box office numbers for 2019.
IMAX now has 1541 theatres around the world, and it is building or planning 612 more (as at June 30th).
Gross margin for the Network business was 66.8 per cent, compared to 70.5 per cent in the prior-year period. The decline in gross margin for the business was due to higher contractual marketing costs driven by the strong performance of Avengers: Endgame, as well as a 50 per cent increase in the number of releases in the quarter from the 10 new films released in the prior year period.
IMAX’s Theatre business segment revenues increased 13.2 per cent to $34.9 million in the quarter, compared with $30.9 million in the prior year period. The $4.1 million increase in revenues was driven principally by the higher number of installations in the quarter, as well as higher maintenance revenue on our expanded commercial theatre network, partially offset by lower financing revenue. The commercial theatre network increased 10.0 percent to 1,445 commercial multiplex theatres in the current quarter
Total theatre installations are expected in the range of 185 to 190, consisting of new theatre installs of 140 to 145 systems and upgrades to IMAX with Laser of approximately 45 systems. New theatre installs are heavily weighted toward the fourth quarter of 2019.