Imax Crosses $10B In Lifetime Box Office, Boosted By Near $50M WW Cume For The Batman

A global pandemic which closed a majority of the world’s cinemas from 2020-21 just won’t keep large format exhibitor Imax down.

This morning, Imax announced that it crossed a $10 billion milestone in its lifetime global box office from narrative, non-documentary feature releases. The news comes in the wake of the exhibitor and specialty camera corp returning with a record share of the 2021 box office and its best Q4 since 2019.

After over 30 years of being a documentary platform and network in science museums and other institutions with movies like T-Rex: Back to the Cretaceous, Imax transformed their business, developing proprietary post production techniques and bringing Hollywood movies to their auditoriums with the re-issue of Ron Howard’s Apollo 13 in 2002. This spurred a demand from filmmakers, studios, exhibitors and moviegoers, and Imax mushroomed its global network to north of 1,664 screens from multiplexes in 85 countries.

As moviegoers head back to the movies during the pandemic, they’re spending big on watching event titles in a premium venues such as Imax.

Imax alone drove $36.2M worldwide for the $600.5M global debut of Sony’s Spider-Man: No Way Home. That repped the biggest global launch for a Sony movie in Imax, 25% higher than Spider-Man: Far From Home (which had China). In U.S. and Canada, during No Way Home‘s $260.1M opening weekend, Imax accounted for $22M at 407 auditoriums, also the biggest domestic launch for Sony, 3rd highest Imax domestic weekend in December and 5th best overall for the large format exhibitor.

The large format exhibitor was also responsible for driving ticket sales to Denis Villeneuve’s Dune despite the fact that the movie was available in homes to watch during its first month in theaters on HBO Max. Imax accounted for $9M on 404 screens stateside or 22% of Dune‘s $41.1M opening weekend. Eventual global ticket sales soared to north of $50M for Imax on the ten-Oscar nominated sci-fi film. Villeneuve used Imax cameras on Dune, and with the pic’s formatting produced an Imax-exclusive 1.90:1 aspect ratio whereby moviegoers experienced up to 26% more picture. Select Imax locations around the globe delivered a 1.43 aspect ratio, with up to 40% more picture for the feature adaptation of the Frank Herbert novel.

Imax to date has soaked up $47.6M of The Batman‘s near $600M global box office, $28.5M of that contributing to North America’s $300.1M take. The Batman debuted on 440 Imax screens in China this past weekend and took in $2M there, repping 17% of the pic’s $12.1M opening in the country. U.S. Imax screens drove $2.3M of Batman‘s third $36.8M weekend. The DC pic’s third foreign weekend of $49.1M saw Imax delivering $5.8M of that number.

Also this past weekend, Imax delivered $2.1M of Crunchyroll’s $17.7M weekend in U.S. and Canada at 157 screens. The Toho blockbuster’s global Imax cume grows to $9.22M, now the 2nd highest grossing Japanese title in Imax of all-time.

The Imax release of Jean-Jacque Annaud’s Notre Dame Brule, shot in Imax cameras, opened in French speaking markets including France, Belgium and Switzerland. In France the Imax network of only 17 screens delivered nearly 10% of the nation’s box office.

Next weekend, the Tollywood epic R.R.R. (Rise Roar Revolt) will release on over 140 Imax screens in a number of markets, including India, North America, Australia, UK & Ireland and the Middle East, which will make the pic the widest release of an Indian film in Imax to date.

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