We've Got Hollywood Covered

Imax Grew Revenue With ‘Godzilla v Kong’ – Just Not Enough for Wall Street

Company lost about as much money as media analysts had forecast

Imax revealed its first-quarter 2021 financial results on Thursday. The giant-movie-screen company grew sales by 11% year over year, but still missed media analysts’ consensus estimate on revenue.

It lost one penny per share less than forecasts foresaw, so there’s also that.

Wall Street had forecast a loss of 26 cents per share on $39.05 million in revenue, according to a consensus of media analysts as compiled by Yahoo Finance. Imax actually reported a loss of 25 cents per share (or -$14.8 million overall) on $38.8 million in revenue.

Imax’s global box-office take for the quarter was $110 million, its first year-over-year quarterly box office growth of the pandemic period, thanks to rebounding business in Asia. As one might imagine, “Godzilla v. Kong” performed quite well over there.

Still, “A Quiet Place 2,” “Fast 9,” and “Black Widow” — and full-capacity theaters — cannot come fast enough.

Imax CEO Richard L. Gelfond had a whole lot to say in his company’s earnings release. Read all that below.

“The last year has brought the strong, unique market position of IMAX into sharp focus; we are a global platform for blockbuster entertainment with a valuable brand, flexible, asset-lite business model and strong balance sheet,” he began. “The distinct attributes of our business and brand enable IMAX to help lead the global film industry out of the pandemic — drawing audiences back to the theaters and driving revenue across the ecosystem, as IMAX continues to grow its global footprint, box office, and market share.”

“Through our unique global footprint, we continue to see firsthand that where audiences feel safe and the virus is under control they will return quickly to the theaters,” Gelfond continued. “Audiences across Asia continue to rediscover the theatrical experience in impressive numbers, driving record-breaking box office and accelerating the continued shift to blockbusters at the multiplex. As Hollywood tentpoles return to theaters, the recovery is spreading to North America and key additional markets including Russia, and Saudi Arabia with the summer season ahead.”

Still more: “As the pandemic recedes, we see clear evidence of global consumers, who’ve been stuck at home with limited entertainment options, emerging to seek out experiences that transcend the ordinary. The IMAX Experience is at once accessible and affordable yet immersive and transporting. With cinema among the most significant out-of-home entertainment experiences to come back online, we believe IMAX is well-positioned to capitalize on this movement.”

“IMAX remains very confident in its leadership position in out-of-home entertainment and continues to explore ways to capitalize on the strength of its brand and technology for the in-home and streaming market as well,” Gelfond’s written remarks began to wind down. “Our IMAX Enhanced initiative now encompasses more than 25 device manufacturer and streaming partners across Asia, Europe, and North America, and we recently announced a joint-venture with a cutting-edge artificial intelligence firm to explore solutions for high-speed image enhancement across consumer devices and streaming platforms.”

Imax stock closed Wednesday at $22.18 per share. The U.S. stock markets reopen at 9:30 a.m. ET.

Imax executives will host a conference call at 8:30 a.m. ET to discuss the quarter in greater detail.