Imax beat Wall Street estimates with its fourth-quarter total revenue, reaching just shy of $109 million, but a weaker film slate in the quarter compared with 2017 kept a lid on results.
Total revenue slid 13% from the year-earlier quarter, to $109 million, while earnings per share of 26 cents fell from 34 cents. Both exceeded analysts’ forecasts.
Gross box office from Imax films was $236.7 million in the quarter, down from $278.1 million in the 2017 period. The stronger slate a year ago included Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Gross box office was generated primarily by the exhibition of 29 films (22 new and 7 carryover), compared with 26 films (22 new and 4 carryover) exhibited in the 2017 quarter.
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On a full-year basis, the company noted that it cracked the $1 billion box office barrier for the first time, and posted record results in China.
“The story is quite simple. Beginning in 2017 we made a series of strategic decisions to turn around our business,” CEO Rich Gelfond said. “From top to bottom, the evidence is clear in 2018 that these initiatives are working as our growth, margin and return metrics are on solidly positive trend lines. We have confidence each of these trends will continue in 2019 and our margin and return improvement should accelerate as we continue to execute against the initiatives we laid out.”
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