Entertainment Tech Company IMAX Generates $25 Million in Record-Breaking Chinese New Year Opening Weekend

By James White Monday, February 15, 2021

Movie theaters were among some of the companies and businesses most notably impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic last year. Due to closures and operating with greatly reduced capacities, many theater chains and companies, including MJR Digital Cinemas, AMC Theatres, and Cinemark Theatres struggled to minimize losses. Despite the events of 2020, IMAX recently reported a record-breaking $25 million opening weekend for the Chinese New Year.

"Given our recent success at the Chinese box office we suspected our fans would turn out for Chinese New Year in a big way, but these early returns have blown away even our most optimistic projections," said IMAX CEO Rich Gelfond.

People in a theater watching a movie.

IMAX Had a Tough Year, but Expects Things to Soon Improve

The record-breaking box office weekend for the entertainment company surpassed the previous record established for the business in 2019 by an impressive 45%. The film “Detective Chinatown 3” carried the torch for the business during the holiday weekend, bringing in $23.5 million for the movie theater company and becoming its biggest three-day weekend for a Chinese film. On top of this, the entertainment business recorded over 1 million admissions in a single day on Friday, another first for the company.

"With record-breaking box office, strong market share, and multiple releases Filmed In IMAX, this is an important milestone on our road to recovery at the global box office and our long, successful history in China,” Gelfond said.

The successful weekend arrives in the wake of a difficult year for movie theaters and the movie industry in general. According to IMAX’s Q3 2020 financial report, the movie theater company saw diluted net losses amounting to $0.80 per share, as revenue for the quarter dropped some 56.9% from the same period in 2019 to $37.3 million. The business boasts a market cap of $1.1 billion, with stock prices sitting at $18.64 per share.

Hollywood and Film Industry Still Reeling

Alongside IMAX, prominent businesses in the movie industry also reported substantial losses last year. AMC saw Q3 revenue shrink from $1.3 billion to $119.5 million, a nearly 91% decline from the year prior. Furthermore, Cinemark reported net losses of just over $148 million for Q3 2020.

Another hurdle movie-viewing businesses must overcome as a result of the pandemic is the forestalling of blockbuster releases from movie studios. At least in the US, theaters are in many different stages of recovery. In some areas, theaters remain closed while others have their capacity reduced by varying degrees. In response, many movie studios have delayed big-name movies (in some cases repeatedly), hoping to release them to a larger audience. James Bond and Marvel are among a few of the major franchises experiencing delays. Still other studios, like Warner Bros. Pictures, plan to move powerhouse movies to online streaming services.

About the Author


Headshot of James White

James White is a Michigan State University graduate with a BS in Environmental Biology. He is interested in reporting emerging trends in technology, especially with regard to alternative energy and environmental conservation.

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