IMAX announced its earnings for Q1 2021 and for the first time since the onset of the pandemic it reported an increase in box office receipts when compared with receipts from the same quarter in the prior year. In Q1 2021, IMAX’s box office receipts came in $110M globally, up from $95.2M in Q1 2020. As with any exhibitor, IMAX retains only a portion of these box office receipts after sharing the proceeds with its studio partners. IMAX reported a net loss of 25 cents per share for the quarter, compared with a net loss in 82 cents per share in Q1 2020.
During last week’s earnings call, IMAX’s CEO Rich Gelfond emphasized the company’s relative strengths in the market, most notably strong results from China, Japan and other Asian markets where IMAX maintains an extensive network of theatres, and the interest that audiences have demonstrated in going to big-screen environments to watch the blockbuster titles that IMAX specializes in presenting. Gelfond also claimed that the industry movement towards shorter theatrical windows should have minimal impact on revenues, since IMAX typically plays films for limited runs of one to two weeks before moving on new titles. Upcoming releases like A Quiet Place Part 2, F9 and Black Widow all stand to perform well at IMAX locations, supporting a rosy outlook for the summer.