Company reports record revenues, earnings and EBITDA for any quarter in its 43-year history -- First Quarter 2010 total revenues increased 120% to $72.8 million vs. $33.1 million in First Quarter 2009 -- Adjusted EBITDA of $42.0 million in First Quarter 2010 vs. $7.0 million in First Quarter 2009 -- First Quarter 2010 Adjusted Net Income of $0.53 per diluted shared vs. Loss of $(0.06) per share in First Quarter 2009 -- First Quarter 2010 Reported Net Income of $0.40 per diluted share vs. Loss of $(0.06) per share in First Quarter 2009 -- Company Signs Deals for 41 Theatres in Q1, Higher than all of Fiscal 2009 -- Second Quarter to Date Gross Box Office up 78% versus last year as attention turns to Iron Man 2: The IMAX Experience

TORONTO, April 29, 2010 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- IMAX Corporation (Nasdaq:IMAX) (TSX:IMX) today reported adjusted EBITDA (as defined by the Company's credit facility) of $42.0 million and $93.4 million for the first quarter and last twelve months ended March 31, 2010, respectively, compared to $7.0 million and $15.1 million for the first quarter and last twelve months ended March 31, 2009, respectively. Total revenue for the first quarter ended March 31, 2010 increased 120% to $72.8 million, a record for a single quarter for the Company, compared to total revenue of $33.1 million in the same period last year. First quarter 2010 adjusted net income, which excludes the impact of variable stock compensation, was $35.3 million, or $0.53 per diluted share, compared to an adjusted net loss of $2.6 million, or $(0.06) per share on the same basis last year. Reported net income was $26.6 million, or $0.40 per diluted share, for the first quarter ended March 31, 2010, compared to a reported net loss of $(2.6) million, or a net loss of $(0.06) per share for the first quarter last year.

During the first quarter of 2010, the Company signed contracts for 41 theatre systems including 19 joint revenue sharing system arrangements and 22 sales arrangements, of which 14 were digital system upgrades. This compares to a total of three system signings in the first quarter of 2009, all of which were system sales, and a total of 35 system signings for all of fiscal 2009. Since quarter-end, the Company has signed deals for another 13 theatre systems, many of which have been announced throughout the month of April.

"We are very pleased with our first quarter financial results," said IMAX Chief Executive Officer Richard L. Gelfond. "Our strong operating and financial performance demonstrates what can happen when great films are combined with our growing theatre network. While we are pleased to have generated record quarterly financial results, we believe the longer term benefits of titles such as Avatar and Alice in Wonderland to our business transcend a single quarter. Such benefits are perhaps best evidenced by the number of theatre deals we are doing, which will fuel additional growth for the Company over the long-term, and an increased level of tentpole movies being committed to the IMAX theatre network."

Adjusted first quarter 2010 net income and adjusted first quarter 2009 net loss exclude the impact of the changes in value of the Company's variable stock compensation. The first quarter of 2010 included an $8.7 million charge resulting primarily from the increased value of the Company's variable stock compensation at the end of the period (primarily driven by the $4.68 increase in the Company's stock price over the course of the first quarter, which impacts variable stock compensation), as compared to less than a $0.1 million charge from variable stock compensation in the first quarter of 2009. For a reconciliation of reported net income (loss) to adjusted results and the definition of adjusted EBITDA as defined by the Company's credit facility, please see the tables at the end of this press release.

Revenue from joint revenue sharing arrangements increased nearly nine-fold to $18.9 million in the first quarter of 2010, compared to $1.9 million in the prior year period. In the first quarter, the Company installed a total of six systems under joint revenue sharing arrangements, including one digital upgrade, compared to 22 such installations, including five digital upgrades, in the first quarter of 2009. As of March 31, 2010, a total of 122 theatres under joint revenue sharing arrangements were in operation, a 77% increase compared to 69 joint revenue sharing theatres operating as of March 31, 2009. Joint revenue sharing theatres open for the entire first quarter of 2010 generated gross box office per screen averages of approximately $665,000 compared to $152,000 last year.

In the first quarter of 2010, the Company recognized revenue on three full, new theatre systems with an average value of $1.6 million, compared to five in the first quarter of 2009, which also had an average value of $1.6 million. The Company also installed nine digital system upgrades in the fist quarter of 2010 compared to three in the same year-ago period. The Company has strategically elected to sell digital system upgrades at a lower sales price and gross margin than a new theatre system as the Company believes this initiative will help to drive box office revenue for its customers and IMAX by maximizing the number of IMAX titles they can show. Each period also included the sale of one used system. Due to the lower number of new systems installed this year versus last year, the increased amount of digital system upgrades, and settlement revenue of $1.2 million last year compared to zero this year, revenue from IMAX systems decreased 33% to $11 million in the first quarter of 2010, compared to $16.5 million in the first quarter of 2009.

Mr. Gelfond commented, "Our strategic initiative to upgrade our film-based network to digital continues to progress well, and our customers continue to show interest in upgrading their theatres from film to digital. Over the past 15 months, we have upgraded 35 film-based systems, and that pace has accelerated over the past six months. These digital upgrades will help to drive our box office revenue as well as that of our customers by maximizing the number of IMAX titles they can show."

Given recent deal signings for new systems, the Company now expects to install 40 to 45 joint revenue sharing theatres from backlog in fiscal 2010, up from its previous outlook of 35 to 40 installations. In addition, the Company expects to install approximately 15 to 20 new sales and sales-type lease systems (excluding upgrades) in 2010, up from its previous outlook of approximately 10 to 15 new installations. In any given year, the Company may also have a number of theatre deals that sign and install within the same calendar year. In addition, system installations can slip from period to period, often for reasons outside of the Company's control.

For the first quarter of 2010, total film revenue increased 275% to $29.3 million, compared to $7.8 million in the first quarter of 2009. Production and IMAX DMR(R) revenues increased to $23.5 million, compared to $3.7 million in the year ago period. First quarter results were driven by the stronger film slate in 2010 versus the same quarter in 2009 and the increased number of IMAX(R) theatres as compared to a year ago.

Gross box office from DMR titles was $232.2 million in the first quarter of 2010, compared to $28.0 million in the first quarter of 2009. The primary drivers of gross box office in the first quarter were Twentieth Century Fox's Avatar: An IMAX 3D Experience(R) and Disney's Alice in Wonderland: An IMAX 3D Experience. Avatar has generated approximately $231 million of worldwide box office to date ($171.9 million was captured in the first quarter of 2010). The 179 domestic theatres that played Avatar since December 18th had a per screen average of $714,000, and the international per screen average was $1,116,696. Alice in Wonderland has generated approximately $58.9 million in worldwide box office to date ($51.6 million of which was captured in the first quarter), for a domestic per screen average of $200,000 and international per screen average of $242,000. On March 26th, DreamWorks Animation's How To Train Your Dragon:An IMAX 3D Experience was released day-and-date to IMAX theatres and has generated approximately $26.3 million in worldwide box office to date ($8.2 million of which was captured in the first quarter) for a per screen average of approximately $107,000 to date.

The Company commented that second quarter 2010 gross box office to date equals $30.0 million, a 78% increase compared to $16.8 million in the same timeframe for the second quarter of 2009.

First quarter 2010 gross margin increased to $48.3 million, or 66.4% of revenue, from $14.2 million, or 42.9% of revenue in the first quarter of 2009. The primary drivers of the increase in gross margin were the Company's joint revenue and DMR film business segments.

First quarter 2010 selling, general and administrative expenses, excluding the $8.7 million variable stock compensation charge, was $10.8 million, or 14.8% of revenue, relatively flat compared to $10.8 million, or 32.7% of revenue, on the same basis in the first quarter of 2009. Reported first quarter selling, general and administrative expense was $19.5 million, compared to $10.9 million in the year ago period.

The Company ended the first quarter with cash and cash equivalents of $23.5 million, compared to $18.7 million at the end of last year's first quarter and $20.1 million as of year end 2009. During the quarter, the Company paid down $10 million of its bank debt, resulting in net debt of $16.5 million as of quarter end, compared to $161.3 million at the end of last year's first quarter and $29.9 million as of year end 2009.

Mr. Gelfond concluded, "2010 is off to a great start, and we are pleased with the positive momentum fueling our business. We believe we have a very strong film slate for 2010, and with yesterday's film deal inked with Warner Bros. and new theatre announcements, we are beginning to paint a picture of 2011 and beyond. We are particularly pleased with the many theatre signings overseas, where our brand is gaining traction and where we see much of our future growth residing, providing a complement to our brand's strong foothold in North America."

As of March 31, 2010, the Company's backlog consisted of 156 theatre systems, compared to 190 theatre systems in backlog as of March 31, 2009. Included in the 2010 and 2009 system backlog totals were 56 and 89 theatres, respectively, under joint revenue sharing arrangements and 100 and 101 theatres, respectively, under sales and sales-type lease arrangements. As of March 31, 2010, 172 digital systems were in operation, compared to 73 as of March 31, 2009.

2010 Film Slate

Turning to the 2010 film slate, Paramount Pictures and Marvel Entertainment will release Iron Man 2: The IMAX Experience day-and-date to 182 domestic IMAX theatres on May 7th and many of the 67 international IMAX theatres slated to play the film start this weekend. Following Iron Man 2, the Company's announced 2010 film slate to date includes DreamWorks Animation's Shrek Forever After: An IMAX 3D Experience(May 2010); Walt Disney Pictures' Prince of Persia: Sands of Time: The IMAX Experience (May 2010, international only); Walt Disney Pictures' Toy Story 3: An IMAX 3D Experience (June 2010); Summit Entertainment's The Twilight Saga: Eclipse: The IMAX Experience (June 2010); Warner Bros. Pictures' Inception: The IMAX Experience (July 2010); Warner Bros. Pictures' Legends of the Guardian: The Owls of Ga'hoole: An IMAX 3D Experience (September 2010); Warner Bros. Pictures' Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1: An IMAX 3D Experience(November 2010); and Walt Disney Pictures' Tron Legacy: An IMAX 3D Experience (December 2010). Yesterday, the Company announced a multi-picture deal with Warner Bros. Pictures to release up to 20 pictures in the IMAX format between 2010 and 2013. Under the agreement, Warner Bros. movies that have already been agreed to be released in IMAX are the above referenced Legends of the Guardian: The Owls of Ga'Hoole 3D (September 24, 2010) and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 (3D) (November 19, 2010), as well as Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II (3D) (July 15, 2011); Happy Feet 2 (3D) (November 18, 2011); and The Hobbit (December 2012). The Company remains in active discussions with all of the major studios regarding potential future titles.

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Total tweets for April 30th Openers

A Nightmare On Elm Street had 2,977 tweets on Tuesday, or 8.1% of the total Twitter buzz for all films opening in the next 4 months. By comparison, The Crazies had 974 tweets its Tuesday before release, Shutter Island had 2,416, and Saw VI had 1,518. Of those 2,977 tweets, 577 were positive (19.38%) and 361 negative (12.13%). Pretty much in line with yesterday's numbers ratings-wise. By tomorrow we should have a very clear picture of where it will end up for the week but I would imagine it needs about 4,000 tweets today to hit the 20,000 tweet week mark since its Thursday will likely be over 9,000 (chuckle). All appears to be on course for a mid-teen millions Friday.

Furry Vengeance had another pretty poor showing on Tuesday with 303 tweets which mapped to 0.8% of the total Twitter buzz for all films opening in the next 4 months. By comparison, The Spy Next Door had 226 tweets its Tuesday before release, and The Tooth Fairy had 352. Of those 303 tweets it had yesterday, 39 were positive (12.62%) and 65 negative (21.04%). Things seem to be getting worse on the ratings-front which is not going to help it on release. Everything seems to be pointing south of $3 million for its opening day now, perhaps even under $2.5 million.

Check back tomorrow to see the Wednesday numbers and the official BoxOffice.com predictions. Follow @AlexBOXOFFICE on Twitter for additional updates.

Twitter tracking history. (For 2009's ratio history please check here.)

alltweets042310.jpgThe ratio is the number of tweets per $1 million of Friday Box Office gross. A film with 1,000 tweets and a $10 million Friday would therefore have a ratio of 100. In general, films that appeal to very young or older audiences have lower ratios since those audiences are not big users of Twitter. By comparison, films that appeal to younger audiences (18-35) have much higher ratios since those audiences are much more active users of Twitter.

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Summit has found a director for Breaking Dawn, the final installment of the Twilight franchise. Bill Condon (Dreamgirls) will step behind the camera.

"I'm very excited to get the chance to bring the climax of this saga to life on-screen. As fans of the series know, this is a one-of-a-kind book - and we're hoping to create an equally unique cinematic experience," said Bill Condon.

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Each installment in the lucrative franchise has been directed by a different person. Catherine Hardwicke started things off in 2008, Chris Weitz directed New Moon and David Slade helmed Eclipse.

Eclipse opens on June 30, and that is a highly advantageous release date for a film that is aimed predominately at teens. Expect records to be broken.

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WOODLAND HILLS, CA - Veteran entertainment industry executive Bob Pisano has been elected as Chairman of the Motion Picture & Television Fund's Board of Directors, it was announced today by Bob Beitcher, interim MPTF President and CEO. Pisano succeeds Frank Mancuso, who has served in that post since 2003 and will continue to serve on the Board for the next two years as Immediate Past Chair.

"On behalf of the Board and the entire MPTF organization, I want to express profound appreciation to Frank Mancuso for his dedicated service as Chairman," said Beitcher. "Frank led the Fund through a difficult period during which health care and its future became the critical social issue not only for the country but for the Fund and our industry as well. Because of his leadership, we are better positioned today than ever before to meet future challenges."

"We are very fortunate to have found an individual with the unique combination of experience, dedication, integrity and compassion to take on this responsibility," said outgoing Board chairman Mancuso. "Bob Pisano understands what this organization means to the entertainment industry, and I cannot think of a more qualified person to lead MPTF forward."

Pisano was previously elected to the Board of Directors of the Motion Picture & Television Fund in 2003 and was a member of the Joint Planning Committee.

Pisano currently serves as the President and Interim CEO of the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) and is responsible for worldwide operations of the motion picture and television industry trade association. A member of the Board of Directors, Pisano joined the MPAA in 2005 as President and COO. Prior to joining the MPAA, he was appointed to the top post at the Screen Actors Guild where he served as National Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer. Previously, Pisano served six years at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, first as Executive Vice President, then as Vice Chairman and member of the Board of Directors. Pisano also served as Executive Vice President and General Counsel, Office of the Chairman, of Paramount Pictures. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the Pacific Council on International Policy and the Executive Branch of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

"Bob Pisano has been a friend and colleague for over 20 years," said Jeffrey Katzenberg, Chairman of the Motion Picture & Television Fund Foundation. "During that time I've admired his willingness to take on and resolve critical and complex issues involving all aspects of the industry. As MPTF continues to look at every aspect of its operations, governance, and mission, having Bob's leadership in navigating the organization through these matters will be truly valuable. I share the excitement of our other Board members in welcoming Bob to this new role."

"The Motion Picture & Television Fund has played a vital role in the lives of entertainment industry members for almost nine decades, and I am committed to ensuring that we as an organization continually address the changing needs of those we serve," said Pisano. "Above all else, we will continue to stay true to our mission of taking care of our own."

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Even though the ceremony doesn't take place until January 16, 2011, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association has already tapped Ricky Gervais to return as the host of the Golden Globes.

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Gervais gave the telecast a different feel last year with his unfliching sense of humor.

The multihyphenate has Cememtary Junction set to open this year. Gervais not only stars in the film, but he also served as writer, director and producer.

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