Christopher Nolan’s ‘Oppenheimer’ movie billboard is seen in Katowice, Poland on July 20, 2023.
Beata Zawrzel | Nurphoto | Getty Images
IMAX on Wednesday posted third quarter earnings showing its second highest-grossing quarter ever at the global box office, led by Universal’s “Oppenheimer.”
Shares slipped about 4% in early trading, however.
Here’s how the company performed in the third quarter compared with Wall Street estimates:
- Earnings per share: 22 cents vs. 23 cents per share expected, according to LSEG, formerly known as Refinitiv
- Revenue: $103.9 million vs. $100.7 million expected, according to LSEG, formerly known as Refinitiv
The movie company reported a net income of $12 million, or 22 cents a share, versus a loss of $9 million, or 16 cents a share, a year earlier. Revenue was $103.9 million, up 51% year-over-year.
Key contributors to the third quarter’s growth included Hollywood titles like “Oppenheimer,” which raked in more than $180 million in revenue, along with “Mission: Impossible: Dead Reckoning Part 1” and “Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny.” Local language films also contributed to the company’s summer success, including Chinese title “Creation of the Gods: Kingdom of Storms” and India’s “Jawan.”
The quarter was behind only the fourth quarter of 2019 in terms of grosses, IMAX said.
In the third quarter, IMAX also generated 120 new signings for new and upgraded IMAX systems across the world.
“It is truly the best of times at IMAX. The company delivered a record performance in the third quarter,” CEO Richard Gelfond said during the company’s earnings call. “We’ve seen many good quarters, but few have exceeded our expectations like this.”
Chief Financial Officer Natasha Fernandes added that the company’s operating cash flow is more than three times what it was last year.
Looking to next year, IMAX expects “some movement” due to impacts felt from the Hollywood actors’ strike, Gelfond said. But the company is optimistic that upcoming titles like IMAX-shot “Dune: Part 2” – now slated for a March 2024 release – combined with this quarter’s growth will anchor the first quarter box office.
Even as entertainment pushes forward into a post-pandemic arena, with streaming dominant, Gelfond said the company’s strength shows that the theatrical experience is not dead.
“We’ve really delivered this quarter across every imaginable index, whether it’s financial, or whether it’s signing, or whether its our position in the ecosystem, or even in small ways many of you don’t see which is in our leverage in the day-to-day business,” Gelfond said on the call. “I’ve certainly rarely been as confident as I am today.”
Disclosure: NBCUniversal, the parent company of CNBC, also owns Universal Pictures, which released “Oppenheimer.”