Advanced Television

Analyst: “IMAX safe for now”

April 17, 2020

By Chris Forrester

Cinemas are suffering badly from a total absence of moviegoers. Just about every theatre chain has seen severe downgrades given that box-office revenues have evaporated. Moreover, many of the blockbuster movies are being delayed until later in the year or even into 2021.

Indeed, AMC Entertainment, one of the biggest names in the business, has seen its share price drift ever-downward over the past few weeks with one analyst (David Miller of Imperial Capital) saying that a bankruptcy at AMC should be avoided but it’s “too close to call”.

Giant screen operator IMAX has also suffered, and while US theatres might not see re-opening much before June. It is the same in much of Europe, with opening dates under pressure in around the globe.

But IMAX has a large portion of its business based in China, and China might be one of the largest markets on the planet to reopen its cinemas and analysts at MKM Partners suggest that Chinese film-fans will be enthusiastic even if they have to sit one seat apart.

MKM’s Eric Handler says: “Schools in China are looking to re-open in late April, which means theaters might be able to follow in early- to mid-May.”  Handler adds that IMAX has enough cash on hand to cover almost a year of no revenues.

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