IMAX Posts Million-Dollar Quarterly Loss Without ‘Avatar’

Big-screen movie company suffers a year after James Cameron blockbuster boosted its earnings

Last Updated: April 28, 2011 @ 7:02 AM

Imax posted a million-dollar quarterly loss on Thursday, as the big-screen screener was stung without blockbusters like "Avatar," which boosted earnings a year ago.

The company reported a loss of $1 million, or 2 cents per share, compared to a $26.5 million profit, or 42 cents per share, during the same period last year. Overall revenue was $20.2 million.

"The first quarter lacked event films, particularly compared to the phenomenal strength of last year's 'Avatar,' and our financial results as compared to last year reflect this," Imax CEO Richard Gelfond said.

"We focused heavily on operational execution this quarter so that we will be in position to capitalize on the remainder of our 2011 film slate," Gelfond said.

That slate includes "Fast Five" (which releases on Friday) and the latest installments of the "Pirates of the Caribbean," "Transformers" and "Harry Potter" franchises.

Imax's box office per screen average during the first quarter was $175,000 ($133,000 domestic, $266,000 international) versus the "Avatar"-backed $844,000 ($695,000 domestic, $1.2 million international) in the first quarter of 2010.

Gelfond called the box office results "disappointing."

"Avatar," the James Cameron juggernaut, became the first $100 million movie for Imax last year — pushing the company into profitability.

Click here for the full earnings release.

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