First New Major Release in China Since Theatres Reopened Lifts IMAX to Strongest Weekend Global Box Office in Six Months
NEW YORK and SHANGHAI, Aug. 24, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- IMAX Corporation (NYSE: IMAX) today announced that Huayi Brothers' "The Eight Hundred" soared in its IMAX debut, earning $7.5 million in box office across nearly 650 IMAX theatres in China. IMAX theatres delivered the strong result even with a 50% capacity limitation in China, and captured 6.5% of the film's overall box office, despite accounting for only 1% of screens. Chinese audiences flocked to the war epic, with IMAX theatres recording more than 550 sell-out shows in the first two days of exclusive preview screenings alone. "The Eight Hundred" has earned an estimated $116 million in overall box office to date.
"The Eight Hundred" is the first commercial film in Asia shot entirely using IMAX cameras, and the first new blockbuster release to hit Chinese multiplexes since they began reopening in late July. The strong performance of "The Eight Hundred" lifted IMAX to global box office of $8 million for the weekend — more than double last weekend's total and the company's best weekend box office performance since Chinese theatres closed in January. In China, IMAX has now earned $15.7 million at the box office— overall market share of 6.4% — and generated 2.1 million admissions since its theatres began to resume operations on July 24.
"After being closed for six months, the performance of IMAX theatres at the Chinese box office continues to exceed our expectations and reinforces our belief that audiences are eager to return to theatres where local guidelines allow," said Rich Gelfond, CEO of IMAX. "'The Eight Hundred' breaks new ground as the first commercial film in Asia shot entirely with IMAX cameras and its strong debut marks a significant step in the rebound of the theatrical business in the critically important Chinese market."
"The Eight Hundred" is based on the true story of the battle and protection of the Si Hang Warehouse during Sino-Japanese war in Shanghai, China, in 1937. In the event, about 400 soldiers (the so-called Eight Hundred Heroes in history) held out against numerous waves of Japanese forces for four days and nights.
"The Eight Hundred" kicks off a strong fall slate for IMAX in China, including the Chinese release of Warner Bros. Pictures and Christopher Nolan's "Tenet" on September 4. "Tenet" begins opening in international markets on August 26.About IMAX Corporation
IMAX Corporation, an innovator in entertainment technology, combines proprietary software, architecture and equipment to create experiences that take you beyond the edge of your seat to a world you've never imagined. Top filmmakers and studios are utilizing IMAX theatres to connect with audiences in extraordinary ways, and, as such, IMAX's network is among the most important and successful theatrical distribution platforms for major event films around the globe.
IMAX Corporation is headquartered in New York, Toronto and Los Angeles, with additional offices in London, Dublin, Tokyo, and Shanghai. As of March 31, 2020, there were 1,616 IMAX theatre systems (1,526 commercial multiplexes, 14 commercial destinations, 76 institutional) operating in 81 countries and territories. On October 8, 2015, shares of IMAX China, a subsidiary of IMAX Corporation, began trading on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange under the stock code "1970."
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