Strong IMAX Per-Screen Average Drives $10.2 Million Domestic Opening Weekend Box Office
LOS ANGELES, March 26, 2012 /CNW/ - IMAX Corporation (NYSE: IMAX;TSX: IMX) and Lionsgate (NYSE: LGF) today announced that the limited release of The Hunger Games: The IMAX Experience grossed $10.6 million in IMAX® theatres worldwide during its three-day opening weekend beginning March 23. Domestically, the film grossed $152.5 million, of which $10.2 million was generated in 268 IMAX theatres for a per-screen average of $38,000. The results mark an IMAX domestic box office opening weekend record for a digital-only release and for a non-sequel 2D release.
"The reaction to the The Hunger Games has been remarkable and we're thrilled that fans have sought out our format as an ideal way to experience this global phenomenon," said Greg Foster, Chairman and President of IMAX Filmed Entertainment. "Congratulations to Lionsgate, producer Nina Jacobson and director Gary Ross for this remarkable adaptation - what an amazing way to kick off our relationship."
"We believe the IMAX release of The Hunger Games helped broaden the audience beyond young females to include our core fanboy audience," said Richard L. Gelfond, CEO of IMAX. "With sellouts all weekend and IMAX fans coming out in record numbers, these results clearly show that IMAX is a powerful way to eventize a movie."
"We are absolutely thrilled that so many fans saw The Hunger Games in the IMAX format," said Lionsgate's EVP of Distribution and General Sales Manager David Spitz. "The total immersion that IMAX offers surely augmented the gripping story and provided fans with a special way to experience this movie."
The Hunger Games: The IMAX Experience has been digitally re-mastered into the image and sound quality of The IMAX Experience® with proprietary IMAX DMR® (Digital Re-mastering) technology. The crystal-clear images coupled with IMAX's customized theatre geometry and powerful digital audio create a unique environment that will make audiences feel as if they are in the movie.
About The Hunger Games
Every year in the ruins of what was once North America, the Capitol of the nation of Panem forces each of its twelve districts to send a teenage boy and girl to compete in the Hunger Games. A twisted punishment for a past uprising and an ongoing government intimidation tactic, The Hunger Games are a nationally televised event in which "Tributes" must fight with one another until one survivor remains.
Sixteen year old Katniss Everdeen volunteers in her younger sister's place to enter the games, and is forced to rely upon her sharp instincts as well as the mentorship of drunken former victor Haymitch Abernathy when she's pitted against highly-trained Tributes who have prepared for these Games their entire lives. If she's ever to return home to District 12, Katniss must make impossible choices in the arena that weigh survival against humanity and life against love.
The Hunger Games is directed by Gary Ross, with a screenplay by Gary Ross and Suzanne Collins and Billy Ray, and produced by Nina Jacobson's Color Force in tandem with producer Jon Kilik. Suzanne Collins' best-selling novel, the first in a trilogy published by Scholastic that has over 26 million copies in print in the United States alone, has developed a massive global following. It has spent more than 160 consecutive weeks/more than three consecutive years to date on The New York Times bestseller list since its publication in September 2008, and has also appeared consistently on USA Today and Publishers Weekly bestseller lists. The Hunger Games: The IMAX Experience is rated PG13 by the MPAA.
Lionsgate is a leading global entertainment company with a strong and diversified presence in motion picture production and distribution, television programming and syndication, home entertainment, family entertainment, digital distribution. New channel platforms and international distribution and sales. The Company has built a strong television presence in production of prime time cable and broadcast network series, distribution and syndication of programming and an array of channel assets. Lionsgate currently has 15 shows on more than 10 networks spanning its prime time production, distribution and syndication businesses, including such critically-acclaimed hits as the multiple Emmy Award-winning "Mad Men", "Weeds" and "Nurse Jackie" along with the comedy "Blue Mountain State," the Golden Globe-winning drama "Boss" and the syndication successes "Tyler Perry's House Of Payne", its spinoff "Meet The Browns", "The Wendy Williams Show" and "Are We There Yet?".
Its feature film business has been fueled by such recent successes as THE LINCOLN LAWYER, TYLER PERRY'S MADEA'S BIG HAPPY FAMILY, THE EXPENDABLES, MARGIN CALL, THE LAST EXORCISM and the critically-acclaimed PRECIOUS, which won two Academy Awards®. With the January 2012 acquisition of Summit Entertainment, the Company now has the two leading young adult franchises – the blockbuster TWILIGHT SAGA, which has grossed more than $2.5 billion at the worldwide box office, and the HUNGER GAMES franchise, whose first film will be released on March 23. Recent Summit hits include RED, LETTERS TO JULIET, KNOWING, the STEP UP franchise and the Academy Award winning Best Picture THE HURT LOCKER.
Lionsgate's home entertainment business is an industry leader in box office-to-DVD and box office-to-VOD revenue conversion rate. Lionsgate handles a prestigious and prolific library of approximately 13,000 motion picture and television titles that is an important source of recurring revenue and serves as the foundation for the growth of the Company's core businesses. The Lionsgate and Summit brands remain synonymous with original, daring, quality entertainment in markets around the world.
About IMAX Corporation
IMAX Corporation is one of the world's leading entertainment and technology companies, specializing in the creation and delivery of premium, awe-inspiring entertainment experiences. With a growing suite of cutting-edge motion picture and sound technologies, and a globally recognized entertainment brand, IMAX is singularly situated at the convergence of the entertainment industry, innovation and the digital media world. The industry's top filmmakers and studios are utilizing IMAX theatres to connect with audiences in extraordinary ways, and as such, the IMAX network is among the most important and successful theatrical distribution platforms for major event films around the globe. The Company's new digital projection and sound systems - combined with a growing blockbuster film slate - are fueling the rapid expansion of the IMAX network in established markets such as North America, Western Europe, and Japan, as well as emerging markets such as China and Russia. IMAX delivers the world's best cinematic presentations using proprietary IMAX®, IMAX 3D®, and IMAX DMR® (Digital Re-Mastering) technologies. IMAX DMR enables virtually any motion picture to be transformed into the unparalleled image and sound quality of The IMAX Experience®.
IMAX is headquartered in New York, Toronto and Los Angeles, with offices in London, Tokyo, Shanghai and Beijing. As of December 31, 2011, there were 634 IMAX theatres (497 commercial multiplex, 20 commercial destination and 117 institutional) in 50 countries.
IMAX®, IMAX® 3D, IMAX DMR®, Experience It In IMAX®, An IMAX 3D Experience® and The IMAX Experience® are trademarks of IMAX Corporation. More information about the Company can be found at www.imax.com. You may also connect with IMAX on Facebook (www.facebook.com/imax), Twitter (www.twitter.com/imax) and YouTube (www.youtube.com/imaxmovies).
This press release contains forward looking statements that are based on IMAX management's assumptions and existing information and involve certain risks and uncertainties which could cause actual results to differ materially from future results expressed or implied by such forward looking statements. Important factors that could affect these statements include, but are not limited to, general economic, market or business conditions, including the length and severity of the current economic downturn, the performance of IMAX DMR films, the opportunities that may be presented to and pursued by IMAX, competitive actions by other companies, conditions in the in-home and out-of home entertainment industries, the signing of theatre system agreements, changes in law or regulations, conditions, changes and developments in the commercial exhibition industry, the failure to respond to changes and advancements in digital technology, the failure to convert theatre system backlog into revenue, new business initiatives, investments and operations in foreign jurisdictions and any future international expansion, the inability to protect IMAX's intellectual property foreign currency fluctuations and IMAX's prior restatements and the related litigation. These factors and other risks and uncertainties are discussed in IMAX's most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and most recent Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q.
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