TORONTO and LOS ANGELES -- IMAX Corporation (Nasdaq:IMAX) (TSX:IMX) today announced that for the fourth quarter ended December 31, 2009, IMAX DMR(R) gross box office worldwide reached the $100 million milestone, a first for the Company and an approximate 225% increase over last year's fourth quarter box office of approximately $31 million. Fourth quarter DMR gross box office results include the approximate $54 million generated from Twentieth Century Fox's Avatar: An IMAX 3D Experience. DMR gross box office of Hollywood DMR titles shown in the worldwide IMAX network increased 108% to a record $270 million compared to $130 million in fiscal 2008.
"Our strong 2009 box office results reflect the compelling film slate put together, our aggressive network expansion and increased productivity in many of our existing theatres," said Richard L. Gelfond, CEO of IMAX Corporation. "We consistently delivered approximately 10% of the box office, on average, of any major title in our network this year on less than 3 percent of the screens. We look forward to our 2010 film slate with great anticipation, and are pleased to kick off the year with the juggernaut, Avatar, which opens in China this week."
"The combination of many of the best and coolest titles Hollywood has to offer and audience enthusiasm for the IMAX(R) brand is a great one-two punch that has driven ticket sales at existing and new IMAX locations. We look forward to continuing to deliver significant value to our studio and exhibitor partners," said Greg Foster, Chairman and President, IMAX Filmed Entertainment. "We appreciate those that have contributed to our significant growth, look forward to announcing more titles for 2010 and beyond in the weeks and months ahead, and working closely with both new and long time partners as we bring The IMAX Experience(R) to more moviegoers around the globe."
"IMAX has always added a special level of excitement to studio titles, but now the significant contribution to overall Hollywood box office is an undeniable indication of the importance of IMAX in the release of any potential blockbuster. Simply put, if it's not in IMAX, it's probably not an event film," said Paul Dergarabedian president of the box-office division of Hollywood.com, "When 230 screens in 2009 can deliver $270 million in worldwide box office, this says very clearly that moviegoers prefer to experience event-type films in the premium IMAX format."
In addition to the strength of IMAX DMR titles, the Company's original documentary, Under the Sea 3D, produced in partnership with Warner Bros., was released in February of 2009 and generated worldwide gross box office of approximately $25 million as of year-end. The Company will release its next original title, Hubble 3D, also in partnership with Warner Bros., in limited release in March 2010, and wide release in April 2010.
The Company's announced 2010 film slate includes:
Alice in Wonderland: An IMAX 3D Experience (Walt Disney Studios)
Hubble 3D (IMAX Corp.\Warner Bros.)
How to Train Your Dragon: An IMAX 3D Experience (Dreamworks
Shrek Forever After: An IMAX 3D Experience (Dreamworks Animation)
Toy Story 3: An IMAX 3D Experience (Walt Disney Studios)
Twilight Saga: Eclipse: The IMAX Experience (Summit Entertainment)
Inception: The IMAX Experience (Warner Bros.)
Tron Legacy: An IMAX 3D Experience (Walt Disney Studios)