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IMAX Beats Q3 Projections, Profits and Sales Jump on Theater Expansion

IMAX attendance grows thanks to "The Dark Knight Rises"

IMAX's third quarter earnings bested analyst expectations Thursday, as profits and sales at the big screen exhibitor jumped on the strength of new theater signings and increased attendance for films like "The Dark Knight Rises."

IMAX's revenue rose 19.5 percent to $80.7 million, up from $67.5 million in the same period a year ago. That also trumped Wall Street's projections; analysts had predicted sales of $78 million.

Profits also increased at the exhibition company, climbing nearly 80 percent to $15 million or 22 cent per share. IMAX had posted profits of $8.4 million in the same period a year ago. Analysts had predicted earnings per share of roughly 20 cents.

"Our strong quarterly financial results once again demonstrate how much the IMAX business model has evolved," IMAX CEO Richard L. Gelfond said in a statement. "We believe IMAX has become a story of growth and operating leverage, and our pipeline for future theatre deals remains robust."

IMAX's global rollout continued apace for the third quarter, with the company signing contracts for 41 theaters, bringing its network to just under 700. 

Summer has traditionally been a bullish time for IMAX. With regard to "The Dark Knight Rises," it helped that with 72 minutes shot with IMAX cameras, the theaters chain's mammoth 70mm screens became the must-see format for the superhero sequel.