Strong B.O. boosts IMAX profits: Net profit surges to $11.1 million
Jul 26, 2012

IMAXA strong box office buoyed Imax profits as more filmmakers film bigger chunks of their movies for the massive screens, the longest bit so far being 72 minutes of Warner Bros. "The Dark Knight Rises," and two big releases shoot in Imax simultaneously for the first time.

Imax needs to ramp up camera production to meet increased demand, said CEO Richard Gelfond on a conference call Thursday.

"Prometheus" and "The Amazing Spider-Man" used Imax sequences. 2013 highlights include J.J. Abrams' "Star Trek" sequel and "Catching Fire," the second "The Hunger Games" installment.

Gelfond began the investor call saluting victims of the tragic theater shooting in Aurora, Colo. at a "Dark Knight" screening last week. "Our thoughts go out to them," he said.

For the three months ended in June, net profit surged to $11.1 million from $1.8 million the year before. Revenue rose 23% to $70 from $57 million.

Total film revenue of $26 million was up from $19 million Production and Imax DMR (digital media remastering) revenues were $19.7 million vs. $12.4 million. Gross box office from DMR titles was $173 million from $108 million the year before. Average box office per screen in rose to $341,900 from $315,700.

Imax signed contracts for 40 theatre systems and installed 20 during the quarter. It increased its 2012 installations scheduled from current backlog to approximately 110 new theatres, from a previous outlook of 95 to 100 new theatres.

There were 280 theatre systems in backlog as of June 30, 2012  compared to 261 systems in backlog at the end of March and 294 systems in backlog in the 2011 second quarter.

Gelfond said China is its fastest growing market outside the U.S. through a partnership with the Dalian Wanda Group, which is in the process of acquiring U.S. exhib AMC Entertainment. Imax expects to grow its China footprint by 50% year-on-year in 2012. Read the entire article on The Hollywood Reporter's website.