Tags: US | Imax | Box | Office

Imax's Box Office Sales Jump 37 Percent in Quarter

Wednesday, 07 Jul 2010 02:46 PM

Canadian giant-screen movie company Imax Corp. said Wednesday its remastered gross box office sales grew 37 percent in the second quarter from a year earlier.

Imax released the numbers the day after its shares took a beating amid investor disappointment over the company's share of "Twilight" fortunes over the weekend.

The company's digital re-mastering technology can transform traditionally shot movies into Imax films.

It said its remastered gross box office sales rose to $115 million in the second quarter from $84.2 million a year earlier. For the first six months of the year, such sales more than tripled to $347.2 million from $112.2 million in the same period in 2009.

"Even excluding 'Avatar' completely from our 2010 results, our per-screen average through the first six months is $647,000, a 13 percent increase over the same period in the prior year," said CEO Richard L. Gelfond in a statement.

On Tuesday, Imax said it generated gross box office sales of $9 million from the latest "Twilight" movie. But this seemed to disappoint investors hoping for more, and the company's shares slumped more than 12 percent.

Overall, "The Twilight Saga: Eclipse," finished the long weekend with $83.6 million in gross box office sales, and it reaped $176.7 million in one week.

Morgan Joseph analyst Jeffrey Blaeser said the Imax numbers "came in light" but still outpaced the competition. He said the movie's mostly female audience, a new demographic for Imax, along with a recent increase in ticket prices, could be reasons for the lower-than-expected numbers.

On Wednesday, Imax regained some ground. Its shares rose 50 cents, or 4.1 percent, to $12.75 in late morning trading. The stock has traded in the 52-week range of $7.14 and $21.29.

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