Imax Beats Wall Street Q2 Profit Forecast, But Revenue Slips Below $9M; Comeback Is Under Way, Company Insists

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Imax Corp. beat Wall Street analysts’ consensus forecast for a loss of 52 cents a share, but fell short of revenue expectations in a second quarter dominated by COVID-19.

The company reported an adjusted net loss of 44 cents a share in the period ending June 30, compared with earnings of 32 cents in the prior-year quarter. Analysts had been looking for a loss of 52 cents.

Revenue ravaged by the pandemic came in at just $8.9 million in the period, a 92% plunge from a year ago and below the Street consensus of $9.8 million.

While the second-quarter financial picture was grim, with theaters shut tight in the U.S. and in many other parts of the world, the comeback story is under way, the company maintained. Imax expects 90% of its global network of theaters — some 1,400 or so screens in 70 markets — to be open by the end of August.

A much-anticipated late-summer title, Warner Bros’ Tenet, was filmed almost entirely with Imax equipment and will play in many of the company’s screens when it finally comes out next month. The Christopher Nolan-directed tentpole is planning an unorthodox rollout starting overseas ahead of the U.S.

“As the only global theatrical platform for blockbuster entertainment, Imax is uniquely advantaged as theaters begin to reopen on a rolling basis throughout the world,” CEO Rich Gelfond said. “Our model gives us the flexibility to reopen where safe, program locally relevant content to maximize revenues, and play a leadership role as the industry returns.”

About 40% of the company’s global network is currently generating revenue, Gelfond estimated, including 409 theaters in China, where Hollywood films are due to debut alongside local-language fare over the coming weeks.

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