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Summer B.O. fills Imax till

Exhib crossed $1.6 bil in grosses

Boosted by a solid summer, large-screen exhib Imax has crossed $1.6 billion in grosses from its digital conversion process since the launch of its first studio release, “Matrix Revolutions,” in 2003.

Known as DMR, the company’s proprietary digital conversion process is used to allow for large-screen format exhibition of studio tentpole pics.

“The secret sauce of our business remains visionary filmmakers, studios who recognize the incremental box office that Imax can bring to their blockbuster titles, and exhibitors with great multiplexes,” said Imax prexy Greg Foster, who spoke at the Bank of America Merrill Lynch 2011 media, communications and entertainment confab.

“The success of this new release window validates those partners, (with) each pulling their own weight,” Foster told Variety.

Of the $1.6 billion, Foster said more than two-thirds has been earned since 2008. Imax has released a total 78 titles since 2003, of which 50 bowed after 2008.

“Avatar” ranks by far as Imax’s highest-grossing title with $243 million worldwide, including $134 million in domestic receipts.Imax’s total DMR international grosses since 2003 total $562 million, most of that was earned over the past few years. Imax grosses this summer saw a relatively even split between domestic and overseas. China, Japan and Russia are the fastest growing international markets for the company.

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