Advanced Television

IMAX revenues dip despite Avatar sequel

February 23, 2023

By Chris Forrester

Giant cinema screen specialist IMAX has reported lower quarterly revenues despite being helped during the quarter by the record box-office takings from Avatar: The Way of Water and a recovery at its Chinese theatres.

IMAX’s overall Q4 revenues were 10 per cent down at $98 million (€92.5m) on the same period a year ago ($108.6 million) and a consequent impact on profits of $2.6 million ($10.1 million a year ago).

The Avatar sequel earned a total of $253 million from the IMAX screens and a thumping $140 million in the last two weeks of December.

But China is working well for IMAX and revenues for Q4 were up 72 per cent compared with last year, and this prompted CEO Rich Gelfond to suggest the company was returning to pre-Covid levels and strong global growth and helped by new cinema installs in India and Latin America.

“As a result,” Gelfond said, “we are seeing encouraging signs of increasing demand for new and upgraded Imax systems around the world, including recent multi-system agreements in Japan and Indonesia. And the [Avatar] sequel is helping lead the dramatic resurgence of our business in China — which has taken a complete, positive 180-degree turn in the span of just a few months.”

“We have a very bullish outlook on the Chinese box office for 2023,” Gelfond told analysts, with China in a “return to normalcy.”

Gelfond also said that IMAX expected to add 110-130 installs for this calendar year.

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