Imax reported third-quarter results that exceeded Wall Street estimates for earnings per share, but undershot analysts’ revenue target. But the company said it remains on track for a global box office record for the full year, with Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker expected to drive year-end demand.
Revenue of $86.4 million fell about $1 million short of forecasts, while earnings per share of 21 cents edged estimates by a penny.
Global box office in the quarter climbed 19% over the third quarter a year ago, to $246.1 million. Key titles included Spider-Man: Far From Home, The Lion King, Hobbs and Shaw and local-language hits like China’s Ne Zha and Japan’s Weathering With You.
Imax’s global commercial network increased 9.4% to 1,473 theaters in 81 countries and territories.
CEO Richard L. Gelfond said the company is on track for a record year at the global box office, topping $1 billion for the second straight year. China receipts have surged 27% through early October, he said.
As Imax continues to seek to expand beyond the theatrical exhibition marketplace, it made note in the earnings release of its efforts to deliver film titles through its Imax Enhanced home entertainment label. Spider-Man: Far from Home was the first title from the Marvel Cinematic Universe to stream in 4K when it went live on streaming platform FandangoNOW in October.
Another emerging area is the use of Imax cameras to shoot films, an effort that has gained A-list advocates like Christopher Nolan and Damian Chazelle in recent years. In 2020, the company expects a record number of Imax-shot titles, including James Bond entry No Time to Die, Wonder Woman 1984 and Nolan’s Tenet.
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