While it had been clear for months that the duo of BARBIE and OPPENHEIMER was a boon for theatres, the full extent of that success is only now becoming apparent as exhibitors release their third-quarter results.
IMAX was first in line to release its earnings for the quarter, boasting more than a 50% increase in year-over-year revenue. The majority of IMAX’s Q3 revenue can be tied to one movie, the July 24th release of OPPENHEIMER. Christopher Nolan’s WW II historical drama generated a disproportionate percentage of its revenues from ticket sales at IMAX and other Premium large-format screens.
After having been shot using IMAX cameras, OPPENHEIMER was promoted heavily as the best experienced in IMAX auditoriums. It enjoyed exclusive play on IMAX screens for its first three weeks and grossed $184 million globally during the quarter to become IMAX’s fifth highest-grossing film of all time.
Other Q3 films including MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE – DEAD RECKONING PART ONE and the Chinese blockbuster CREATION OF THE GODS: KINGDOM OF STORMS also contributed to IMAX’s big quarter. The company is on pace to wind up with its highest-grossing year ever, with an estimated global gross of $1.1 billion.
IMAX has been able to outpace other exhibitors due to the increased preference for moviegoers to see new releases in premium formats. Pandemic-era films such as AVATAR: THE WAY OF WATER, CREED 3 and OPPENHEIMER were all shot on IMAX cameras and took in a disproportionate percentage of their grosses from IMAX screens. During their Q3 earnings call, IMAX announced plans to create or upgrade 120 IMAX screens over the next 12 months, more than twice the number from last year.