The giant-screen company IMAX recorded $546 million in gross box office from proprietary digital re-mastered (DMR) titles in 2010, effectively doubling this sector of its business from $271 million in 2009.
A total of 16 DMR titles were released on the IMAX platform in 2010, heavily skewed toward major Hollywood blockbusters and including nine of the top 10 films of the year.
IMAX original content in 2010, such as the space-themed documentary Hubble 3-D, generated just $41 million in revenue, down from $55 million in 2007. North America accounted for 60 percent of DMR box office, down from a high of 94 percent in 2002. International circuits contributed 39 percent, up from a 26 percent contribution the previous year.
DMR titles are undoubtedly IMAX’s fastest growing content revenue stream. In 2010, DMR accounted for 93 percent of the total box office, up from 75 percent and 67 percent in 2007 and 2006, respectively. Moreover, DMR generated approximately 13 times more box office than original content last year, significantly higher than the 3.5 times ratio in 2007. However, 2010’s results include Avatar, the most successful title in gross box office terms for IMAX to date.
As of November 2010, IMAX had concluded 199 new theater deals, up from 38 the previous year. The rate of new installations is facilitated by the rollout of its digital projection system, which can be installed more rapidly at lower capital costs.
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