Imax saw revenue soar to $74 million in the June quarter from $51 million a year earlier as ticket sales increased. The stock also rebounded, up nearly 3% in aftermarket trading on the news.
Profits were reduced by a $3.2 million write-down of a film investment, the company said, in part due to Covid-related lockdowns and falling box office levels in China. The situation is improving with the Imax China Network operational at 91%, compared to 65% on April 26.
Imax’s global box office jumped 128% last quarter from 2020 thanks to Hollywood’s lineup of blockbusters led by Top Gun: Mavericka film that brought the large-format exhibitor three consecutive worldwide openings of over $25 million alongside Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness and Jurassic World Dominion.
The second quarter domestic box office was comparable to the comparable pre-pandemic 2019 period. June 2022 topped June 2019. Domestic market share was 5.3% for the quarter and 7% in May.
In the first half – despite a first quarter almost devoid of said blockbuster – Imax’s domestic box office trailed 2019 by just 5% – against a 37% drop in the domestic exhibition industry during the same period.
Movie chains sang over the past quarter as moviegoers flocked to cinemas, but Imax is the first in the exhibition business to report numbers. Blockbusters tend to over-index on oversized screens.
The wave of superheroes is dwindling, so it’s not great, though Avatar: The Way of the Water – the first of four new episodes of what was Imax’s highest-grossing film – comes out in December. Earlier this year, the company established a cross-divisional task force dedicated to the James Cameron film ahead of its opening.
“Imax is playing a leading role in the global cinema resurgence, as evidenced by our strong financial results, global box office growth and market share gains we achieved in the second quarter,” said the CEO. from Imax, Richard Gelfond. He also cited recent activities to strengthen key partnerships with global exhibitors, including deals for new theaters and facilities in Asia, Europe, the Middle East and North America.
The company posted a reduced net loss of $2.9 million, or 5 cents per share, from $9.2 million, 16 cents. Adjusted net income of $3.9 million, or 7 cents per share, compared to a loss of $7 million, or 12 cents, last year, including the charge, for 6 cents per share.
Gelfond will discuss the numbers on a call at 4:45 a.m. ET.