Aurora Tragedy Probably Hurt Summer Box Office Sales, IMAX Exec Says

“There’s nothing we can quantify about Colorado,” IMAX Filmed Entertainment President Greg Foster told the Bank of America Merrill Lynch Media, Communications and Entertainment Conference. Nevertheless, he adds, “I can’t imagine that in someway it hasn’t” contributed to lower-than-expected Q3 ticket sales. He says it also might have affected the kinds of films that audiences attended: Ones that did surprisingly well, he says were “don’t-take-yourself-seriously movies” such as Universal’s Ted and Marvel’s The Avengers. Foster expects a big turnaround this holiday season. Sony/MGM’s James Bond film Skyfall, Lionsgate’s The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn (Part Two), and Warner Bros’ The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey are all “earmarked for success.” Although all are sequels, he says that generally speaking “more of the same doesn’t work. That I know for sure.” Foster’s comments came as Barrington Research’s James Goss lowered his earnings forecast for IMAX, citing the recent weakness at box offices. He projects the company will generate 20 cents in earnings per share for Q3, down from 28 cents.  The Aurora tragedy and the Chinese government’s insistence that Warner Bros’ The Dark Knight Rises and Sony’s The Amazing Spider-Man open there simultaneously “likely cut into total potential B.O. results,” Goss says.

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