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‘Avatar’ sets Imax record

Distrib's cut of 3D blockbuster passes $200 million

With worldwide totals for 20th Century Fox’s “Avatar” north of $2.4 billion, Imax reported that its portion of the pic’s earnings passed $200 million on Sunday.

The film’s domestic take has reached $120.1 million at 179 Imax screens, repping approximately 18% of the pic’s $688 million U.S. total.

The distrib’s previous highest grosser was Warner Bros.’ “The Dark Knight,” which earned $66 million for Imax during its initial release in 2008. Warner’s “The Polar Express,” released in 2004, has earned $71 million for the distrib thanks to several holiday re-releases.

With commercial hits like “Dark Knight” and “Avatar,” Imax has successfully transitioned over the years to become one of the preeminent exhib brands, with 403 locations in 44 territories.

“At the end of the day, what really has grown our business hasn’t been one movie, but our ability to acclimate to our partners and not the other way around,” said Imax prexy and chairman Greg Foster.

“Avatar” continues to top several key overseas markets in repeat frames, with last weekend’s foreign gross totaling $48.5 million for an international cume of $1.78 billion. Overseas totals for Imax were $80.2 million at 84 screens.

Imax will shift its focus on March 5 when it commits to a three-week run of Disney’s “Alice in Wonderland.”

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