Following last week’s upbeat CinemaCon convention, the good news kept coming for exhibitors as a number of top circuits announced better-than-expected financial results for the first quarter.
IMAX brought in the highest first quarter box office in its history, giving credibility to a claim made earlier this year by its CEO Rich Gelfond that the Canadian-based exhibitor and provider of premium large format cinema technology will return to pre-pandemic profit levels by the end of the year.
IMAX’s Q1 box office boost kicked off with strong demand to see James Cameron’s AVATAR: THE WAY OF WATER, which posted most of its sales during the Q1 period. Other first-quarter performers included Marvel’s ANT-MAN AND THE WASP: QUANTUMANIA and MGM’s CREED III.
Nearly one-third of IMAX’s Q1 box office revenues came from non-Hollywood titles, most notably SUZUME (Japan) and PATHAAN (India). IMAX shares are up over one-third since January, and the company has already signed new agreements this year to upgrade or install new equipment at 62 exhibitor locations.
Both AMC and Cinemark also reported strong Q1 results, benefitting from not only the high-profile blockbusters but also from a solid supporting cast of titles including M3GAN, A MAN CALLED OTTO, 80 FOR BRADY, SCREAM VI, and COCAINE BEAR.
Cinemark CEO Sean Gamble commented that going forward, he is “highly optimistic about film volume coming back to pre-pandemic levels”, in part because of recent commitments from Amazon and Apple that they will begin distribution of their highest-profile new movies with exclusive theatrical runs.
See also: Cinemark CEO Sees “Fairly Limited” Writers Strike Impact, Touts Increased Film Pipeline at Box Office (Hollywood Reporter) and AMC Entertainment Saw Q1 Sales Jump, Losses Narrow; CEO Says Ability To Raise Capital Will Be “Crucial Component” Of Success (Deadline)