Citing the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, giant screen producer-exhibitor Imax has reported a $26 million second-quarter loss, or 44 cents a share, on revenues of $8.9 million.
During the 2019 quarter, Imax had reported earnings of $11.4 million, or 19 cents a share, on revenues of $104.8 million. Wall Street analysts had expected a loss of 52 cents a share.
The company said the results reflect the closure of substantially all of the theaters in the company’s global network, which reduced technology network and maintenance revenue to essentially zero. and The company accrued $3.2 million in payroll subsidies and tax credits from the Canadian and U.S. governments as part of their COVID-19 relief programs.
“As the only global theatrical platform for blockbuster entertainment, Imax is uniquely advantaged as theaters begin to reopen on a rolling basis throughout the world,” said CEO Richard Gelfond. “Our model gives us the flexibility to reopen where safe, program locally relevant content to maximize revenues, and play a leadership role as the industry returns.”
Gelfond noted “early signs” of progress, with approximately 40% of its network currently generating revenue, including 409 Imax theaters in China, which are scheduled to debut Hollywood and local language films over coming weeks. He said the South Korean blockbuster “Peninsula” continues to perform well across markets in Asia and Europe, drawing $26.5 million in global box office despite capacity limitations and highlighting demand among moviegoers in lower-risk markets.
“We continue to look ahead to an exceptionally strong slate through 2021, as studios affirm their commitment to the theatrical release by rescheduling their key blockbuster titles,” Gelfond said. “We remain unwavering in our stance that the health and safety of audiences must be the priority as theaters reopen and we support by the work of local governments and our partners to put public health first.”
Imax issued the earnings report Tuesday after the close of the stock market. As of June 30, there were 1,615 Imax theater systems (1,527 commercial multiplexes, 13 commercial destinations, 75 institutional) operating in 81 countries and territories.