IMAX chief says movie theater business ‘smokes’ – what that could mean for AMC and Cinemark’s next revenue stream

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IMAX Corp. IMAX CEO Richard Gelfond says the movie theater sector is “steaming up”, due to an impressive line-up of summer blockbusters.

What happened: “If you look at the company itself, it’s smoking,” Gelfond said on CNBC’s “Squawk Box.” The comment followed IMAX’s mixed earnings report. He noted that business was down just 5% from 2019, which was its “best year ever,” and indicated that the pandemic woes for cinemas may be over.

Last week, IMAX released its quarterly report, missing earnings expectations. However, it beat analysts’ earnings expectations. IMAX is down 9.82% for the year, outpacing both the overall market and some rival movie theater chains.

Related: Summer blockbusters set to power second-half box office: Here’s what’s next and a look at 5 stocks to watch

AMC Entertainment Inc. CMAwhich is expected to report results on Thursday August 4, fell 43.25% in 2022.

Cinemark Holdings Inc. CNK is 7.81% positive over the year. It is expected to release its results on Friday, August 5.

Given that five films released in the first half of the year topped the domestic total of $200 million, compared to just three films in the rest of 2021, there are strong hopes for theatrical earnings for the second. semester 2022.

As for the IMAX business in China, which brings the company about 33% of its revenue, Gelfond hopes this is a turning point in the country marred by COVID-19 shutdowns.

The CEO said the company had just had its best summer weekend in China since 2019. “They had a movie that made $125 million in total, and an IMAX made $6.3 million, which is the biggest we’ve done there in a while,” he explained.

Why is this important: According to experts, the domestic box office will reach between 7.5 and 8 billion dollars in 2022, which implies that the second half will be between 3.9 and 4.4 billion dollars.

Domestic box office sales have brought in $4.7 billion year-to-date, up 192.6% from 2021 but down 30.7% from 2019.

Some of the years remaining blockbusters include,

  • October 4: “Halloween is over”
  • October 21: “Black Adam”
  • November 11: “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever”
  • December 16: “Avatar: The Way of the Water”
  • December 21: “Shazam! Fury of the gods”
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