Imax talks live event strategy as company’s quarterly results beat projections

Imax continued to emerge from a global pandemic that devastated the theatrical movie industry, posting its best quarterly results since COVID-19 became a facet of everyday life. At the same time, the big-screen company has made it clear that it’s setting its sights behind the latest releases, talking about the opportunities it sees in launching special events with filmmakers and music artists.

The company’s revenue reached $108.6 million, a 94% year-over-year improvement, while the company reported earnings of 17 cents per share, compared to a loss of 36 cents a year ago. one year old. Imax also reported net profit of $10.1 million, compared with $21.2 million in losses about a year ago. Those numbers beat Wall Street’s projections, which sent stocks up more than 7% in after-hours trading.

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Imax was buoyed by some popular big-screen hits, including “Spider-Man: No Way Home,” which beat the odds of the pandemic to become one of the most popular movie releases in history. But the company also worked to expand its lineup of offerings in late 2021. In December, Imax teamed up with Amazon Music to stream a Kanye West and the Drake Concert at many of its North American venues and also offered a one-night-only screening of Joel Coen’s “The Tragedy of Macbeth,” as well as a Q&A with director and star Frances McDormand which aired from its Lincoln Square location to 22 theaters worldwide. Imax also screened Peter Jackson’s acclaimed Disney Plus documentary, “The Beatles: Get Back,” along with an interview with the filmmaker.

On a call with analysts, Imax CEO Richard Gelfond said live events similar to what Imax did with Drake and West will be crucial to the company’s strategy going forward. . West was so pleased with the results that he teamed up with the exhibitor at another gig on Tuesday. Imax is offering its cameras and technology to capture music in a more immersive way and as a decoy for fans who might not be in geographical proximity to Ye’s latest performance.

“We believe this is an important opportunity for us – live cinema music events that exponentially increase an artist’s reach without sacrificing the quality and intimacy of an in-person experience” , said Gelfond. “In fact, in some ways, we surpass that in-person experience – with crystal-clear, stunning visuals and sound capabilities that come close to what it’s like to be seated front row at a live event.”

The decision could be critical as studios are releasing fewer films theatrically and spending more resources on their streaming services. Imax has been cushioned from these changes, in part because it tends to highlight the kind of superheroes and action fare the big movie companies are still churning out for theaters. However, the box office has yet to return to pre-pandemic levels.

Imax said it had total cash and cash equivalents of $189.7 million on its books, as well as debt of $233.6 million.

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