Giant screen company, Imax, recorded $546m in gross box office from DMR (proprietary digital re-mastered) titles in 2010, effectively doubling this sector of its business from $271m in 2009. A total of 16 DMR titles were released on the Imax platform in 2010, heavily skewed towards major Hollywood blockbusters and including nine of the top ten films of the year. In 2010, Imax original content such as Hubble 3D,
a space-themed documentary, generated just $41m in 2010, down from $55m in 2007. North America accounted for 60 per cent of DMR box office (down from a high of 94 per cent in 2002), while international circuits contributed 39 per cent, nonetheless increasing from a 26 per cent contribution the previous year.
DMR titles are undoubtedly Imax's largest growing content revenue stream. In 2010, DMR accounted for 93 per cent of total box office, up from a 75 per cent and 67 per cent contribution back in 2007 and 2006, respectively. Moreover, DMR generated approximately 13x more box office than original content last year, significantly up from the same 3.5x ratio in 2007. However, 2010's results include Avatar, the most successful title in gross box office terms for Imax to date.
As at November 2010, Imax had concluded 199 new theatre deals up from 38 the previous year. Rate of new installations is facilitated by roll-out of its digital projection system, which can be installed more rapidly at lower capital costs. Due to lower print costs it also enables more releases on the platform. The international market is a particular growth area, with a slew of new exhibition partners announced in both Europe and Asia Pacific, particularly China, in 2010. DMR box office from international circuits actually tripled year on year, outperforming the overall growth rate. Surge comes amid the wider push towards distribution of titles in 3D and their more flexible ticket pricing mechanism. Nine of the 13 DMR titles scheduled (so far) for 2011 will be 3D releases.
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