IMAX (TSX:IMX) today announced that “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” has grossed $15.1-million in 452 IMAX theatres worldwide, a December best for any IMAX film.
Greg Foster, Chairman and President of IMAX Filmed Entertainment commented on the hit movie: “We are proud to have worked closely with our longtime partners at Warner Bros. and an accomplished filmmaker like Peter Jackson, who has created a story and visual spectacle ideal for The IMAX Experience®,” he said, adding: “We’re pleased that so many moviegoers chose to experience the first installment of this highly anticipated trilogy in IMAX, and we believe the positive word of mouth going into the holiday season should drive a long and successful run.”
In November, IMAX announced it had signed a deal with Warner Brothers to release up to twenty Warner Brothers films in the IMAX format over the next three years. The films include “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug”, which is expected to be released in December of next year, and “Rise of an Empire”, the sequel to the 2006 film 300, and “Man of Steel”, both of which will hit theatres next summer.
The Hobbit grossed $84.8 million over its first three days, passing the previous record of $77.2-million held by I Am Legend in 2007.
Mississauga-based IMAX originated at Expo ’67 in Montreal, when two of its co-founder’s films, which used multi-screen, multi-projector systems, did not work well. The pair decided to try and improve the technology, founding a company called Multiscreen, based on the technology of Australian inventor Ronald Jones. The technology eventually morphed into a large, single screen format and the company changed its name to IMAX. Today, there are more than 600 IMAX theatres in 52 countries.
Late in October, shares of IMAX rose after the company reported Q3 revenue of $80.7 million, 20% higher than $67.5 million it booked in the same period last year.