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Marvel’s ‘Black Widow’ and ‘Shang-Chi’ Jolt Imax Earnings to Pandemic-Era High

Large-format cinema company reports $142 million in global box office revenue

Imax reported its strongest quarterly earnings since the pandemic began with $142 million in global box office revenue and $56.6 million in revenue for the third quarter of 2021, driven primarily by Marvel Studios’ “Black Widow” and “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.”

That surge has reduced the company’s net losses to just $8.3 million and 14 cents per share, down from $9.2 million, or 16 cents per share last quarter. Imax’s adjusted EBITDA also surged from $300,000 to $13.1 million.

The report also comes as Imax and the global box office as a whole are finishing a resurgent October in which domestic overall grosses will exceed $600 million, the best monthly total so far this year and better than the $544 million grossed in October 2017. Through films like Sony’s “Venom: Let There Be Carnage,” MGM’s “No Time to Die,” Warner Bros.’ “Dune” and the Chinese blockbuster “The Battle at Lake Changjin,” Imax grosses for the month have exceeded $100 million worldwide.

“The third quarter was a major turning point for Imax […] a clear sign of significant pent up consumer demand with momentum accelerating into a pre-pandemic September performance and all-time Company record in October, which is on track to be one of the top ten months in the company’s history,” Imax CEO Rich Gelfond said in a statement. “The power of the Imax theatrical window for blockbuster films is clear as we continue to draw moviegoers to the theaters, gain market share, and grow our relationships with local exhibitors, studios, and filmmakers.”

“As anticipated, the domestic market continued its recovery with sequential growth in box office. Local language box office was also a strong performer which already eclipsed our record breaking 2019 local language box office. We are seeing greater confidence in the overall slate as well, as the IMAX-friendly franchise-heavy schedule has solidified through 2022,” Gelfond added.

For both Imax and many theater chains, Q4 is setting up to be the first quarter in which profits are reported since the pandemic began. After the strong results in October, films like Disney/Marvel’s “Eternals,” Sony’s “Ghostbusters: Afterlife,” Sony’s “Spider-Man: No Way Home” and Warner Bros.’ “The Matrix Resurrections” will be among the tentpoles supported by Imax in November and December.