Financial analysts with an eye on exhibition had been eagerly awaiting IMAX’s Q4 earnings report, as blockbusters such as VENOM, DUNE, NO TIME TO DIE and SPIDER-MAN: NO WAY HOME had been expected to drive the large format exhibitor to a profitable quarter. This week, IMAX’s executive team reported quarterly revenue of $108.6M and profit of $10.1M, pandemic highs and better than initial forecasts.
This success is attributable to the major blockbusters released during the quarter, and to a series of popular special events such as a one-day-only screening of THE TRAGEDY OF MACBETH followed by a Q&A with Joel Coen & Frances McDormand, Peter Jackson’s acclaimed documentary THE BEATLES: GET BACK, and a live, simulcast of a concert featuring Kanye West and Drake.
In fact, IMAX is leaning further into specialty programming to offset the effects of having fewer mainstream studio titles in the market. With most locations featuring only one or two screens, IMAX is well-positioned against the shortening library. But it is also the case that screening blockbusters mean that IMAX is receiving a limited percentage of ticket sales for this premium content. The positive reception from analysts to IMAX’s quarterly results underscores the value to exhibitors in broadening their offerings so they do not rely exclusively on major studio titles.