IMAX Corp. reported that its earnings for the first quarter of 2019 were down compared to last year, but the company has high expectations for future box office thanks to “Avengers: Endgame.”
The premium-format exhibitor reported adjusted earnings of 18 cents per share for the quarter, down from the 21 cents per-share the company reported during the same three-month period a year ago. IMAX’s third-quarter earnings fell in line with Wall Street’s expectations for 18 cents per share, according to estimates gathered by Yahoo Finance.
Revenue for the quarter hit $80.2 million, which was down compared with the $85.0 million IMAX reported last year. The company’s reported revenue was also shy of Wall Street’s expectations for $81.2 million for the quarter.
IMAX said that gross box office from IMAX DMR films was $256.3 million in the first quarter of 2019, compared to $246.9 million in the first quarter of 2018.
“IMAX empowers the world’s most innovative content creators with unparalleled end-to-end technology and a global network spanning more than 80 countries,” IMAX CEO Richard Gelfond said in a statement. “The benefit of those artistic partnerships and our global reach is evident in our better than expected first quarter results, particularly in China, where we outperformed the market and posted our second-best quarter ever. With a robust lineup of tentpole films ahead, like the highly anticipated ‘Avengers: Endgame,’ which opens this weekend, we anticipate delivering our strongest box office year ever in 2019.”
The first quarter gave IMAX its second strongest box office quarter of all time in China, up 19% year-over-year to $106 million.
IMAX had its biggest opening ever in China thanks to “Avengers: Endgame,” the company said in its quarterly report on Friday. In its first two days, including midnights, the film generated more than $21 million in box office revenue for IMAX. And domestic Imax pre-sales for the film stand at $21 million, up 70% compared to last year’s “Avengers: Infinity War.”
Partly because of “Avengers: Endgame” expectations and the company’s first quarter, IMAX is raising its box office guidance for the full year 2019. IMAX anticipates global box office will see low-double digit percentage growth compared to 2018.