Summer blockbusters such as “The Meg” and “Mission: Impossible – Fallout” helped Imax beat third quarter earnings expectations.
The giant screen exhibitor reported earnings of $5.02 million and revenue of $82.1 million. The compared favorably to a loss of $850,000 in the year-ago period, but was down slightly from the $98.8 million in revenues that the company reported during the same quarter in 2017. Earnings per share of 14 cents were up from 8 cents in the prior year quarter.
Imax’s results roundly beat projects. Wall Street analysts’ forecasts predicted the company would post earnings per share of 11 cents on $81.2 million. In addition to a few well-timed popcorn movie hits, Imax also benefited from the Chinese box office. The exhibitor has invested heavily in the Asian market in recent years, building a number of locations. The company’s theatrical haul in China increased 30.5% in the third quarter, which Imax attributed to a number of local language successes.
“Our momentum from the first half of 2018 continued into the third quarter,” said Imax CEO Richard Gelfond. “Compelling blockbuster content from Hollywood and China, coupled with our ongoing focus on controlling costs helped drive our third consecutive quarter of operating margin expansion.”
Imax is making a number of corporate changes. This month, the company announced that Greg Foster, the head of its entertainment division and its ambassador to Hollywood, will leave Imax. He will be replaced by Megan Colligan, the former head of marketing and distribution at Paramount.