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IMAX China Rides on Bumblebee's Solid Run at the Box Office

Zacks Equity Research

IMAX Corporation’s IMAX subsidiary IMAX China recently stated that Viacom VIAB owned Paramount Pictures' Bumblebee collected $6.1 million from 587 IMAX theaters this weekend. IMAX noted that this is one of its best January performances.

Transformers spinoff Bumblebee became the highest grossing film at the Chinese box office and raked in about $59 million in its opening weekend. The film also derailed Aquaman’s four-week dominance as the top grosser globally by collecting $82.7 million in 63 foreign markets.

Other Hollywood titles that boosted IMAX China’s box office performance include Aquaman, a production of AT&T’s T Warner Bros., and Sony’s Venom. Solid collection from these movies led to 40% year-over-year over growth at IMAX China box office from Nov 3, 2018 to Jan 3, 2019.

Moreover, Disney’s DIS Ralph Breaks the Internet and Sony’s Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse did well at the Chinese box office, per Variety.

IMAX also noted that Aquaman was the highest selling IMAX title in China in fourth-quarter 2018 and drove December box office collections to $27.23 million.

Notably, Aquaman pulled in $4.1 million in its fifth week and garnered a total of $283 million from China. Additionally, the film, which became the second highest-grossing superhero movie ever this week in China leads in terms of collections across markets. Moreover, the film is the highest-grossing movie ever in Asia with global collection of $940 million.

IMAX Corporation Revenue (TTM)

IMAX Corporation Revenue (TTM) | IMAX Corporation Quote

China Exposure: A Key Catalyst

Apart from blockbuster Hollywood titles, IMAX is also benefiting from Chinese language releases. The release of Chinese content in smaller cities boosted local box office revenues.

Therefore, IMAX is planning to release more Chinese content during peak holiday season including the upcoming Chinese New Year. Notably, Greater China box office increased 30.5% year over year driven by blockbuster Hollywood and Chinese language titles.

Additionally, IMAX China confirmed that Crazy Alien starring China’s A-list actors will be released on Chinese New Year. Other upcoming popular titles on IMAX in 2019 and beyond include Chinatown Detective 3, Lion King, the final Avengers film and Wonder Woman 1984.

Moreover, IMAX’s extended partnership with Wanying Cinema Line to open 14 more IMAX laser theaters in China, bringing the total to 15, is a positive.

We believe that, a growing number of blockbuster movies and increased contribution from Greater China is expected to aid top-line growth.

IMAX currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

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