Imax has set a new company record for first quarter box office in 2023 with $282.2 million — beating its previous best record, set in 2016, by more than $10 million. The record-breaking results were powered by a potent global mix of releases; the first quarter now stands as Imax’s highest grossing quarter ever for local language releases and also saw the stunning performance of James Cameron’s Avatar: The Way of Water.
“The first quarter is an excellent indicator of the promise we see in 2023,” said Imax CEO Rich Gelfond, “a year in which we expect to return to our record-breaking levels of box office from 2019. Our best-ever box office for the quarter demonstrates that Imax is wholly unique in its ability to capitalize on both Hollywood and local language box office, and our diversifying content portfolio remains a key, successful pillar of our global growth strategy.”
Imax delivered a record $86.3 million in box office for local language films in the first quarter — 31 percent of the company’s overall global box office for the first three months of the year. A slew of successful releases from key film industries throughout the world contributed to the results, including:
$61.3 million in Chinese New Year box office, a new record for local language box office in China’s peak moviegoing period
China Film Group’s The Wandering Earth 2, which now stands as Imax’s highest grossing local language film of all time
Initially released in Japan in November, Toho’s Suzum” climbed to Imax’s second highest grossing Japanese local language film of all time
In India, Yash Raj Films Pathaan, which delivered Imax’s biggest global opening weekend of all time for an Indian film
Imax expects to program 30 to 40 local language titles in 2023
James Cameron’s Avatar: The Way of Water was the highest grossing Imax release of the quarter and has now generated $255 million in Imax — the company’s highest grossing first-run release of all time. Imax also delivered strong performances with Hollywood blockbusters including Creed III — the highest grossing sports film of all time in Imax — Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, and John Wick 4, among others.