IMAX Corporation and IMAX China (NYSE: IMAX and HKSE: 1970) today announced that IMAX theatres across China began to resume operations on Friday — six months to the day after all movie theatres in the Chinese mainland were closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As of July 26, a total of 369 of IMAX’s more than 700 screens have reopened, with at least 600 IMAX theatres in total expected to reopen by mid-August.
Under China Film Administration’s health and safety guidelines, IMAX theatres returned with “Bloodshot” and “Dolittle”– two Hollywood titles making their theatrical debuts for Chinese audiences and generating a weekend IMAX box office of $750,000. “Dolittle”earned $535K from 266 IMAX China screens, 11% of the nationwide total despite releasing on only 40% of IMAX screens open at this time in the market. “Bloodshot,” distributed by Bona in China, provided $210K from 228 IMAX China screens, about 7% of the nationwide total.
Additionally, IMAX was among the headliners for the 23rd Shanghai International Film Festival, with a range of classic titles including the full “Harry Potter” series and IMAX exclusive documentaries “Pandas” and “Michael Jordan to the Max.” All IMAX showings sold out in minutes, including more than 1000 tickets for the “Harry Potter” screenings which sold out in seconds.
With the reopening, IMAX will look to grow its continued strength and success in China. In 2019, IMAX broke several records in China, including Chinese New Year box office, record local language box office and an all-time high full-year box office of $365.8 million. With its recently announced 20-theatre agreement with Wanda Film, IMAX now has 985 screens in operation or contracted to open in China.