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Imax Posts Record October Box Office Sales, Boosted by 'Dune'

Imax's October-to-date sales of $100 million beat the chain's October 2013 peak of $84 million.

Imax  (IMAX) - Get IMAX Corporation Report shares wavered Monday after the movie-theater chain reported its best October global box office sales, $100 million so far in the month.

The New York company's figure beat the October 2013 peak of $84 million.

Its box office sales totaled $45 million in October 2020 and $79 million in pre-Covid October 2019. 

The record fell thanks to the strong domestic debut of Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Denis Villeneuve's "Dune," which generated $9 million in North American Imax theaters, the company said.

That represented 22.5% of the film's domestic total. It was Imax’s highest percentage of a $40 million-plus domestic release since 2017.

"Dune" registered IMAX's biggest global October opening weekend ever, earning $17.8 million, or 20% of the film's weekend total, Imax said.

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Imax recently traded at $21.39, off 2.1%. It has jumped 22% in the past month, with moviegoers returning to theaters as the Covid pandemic eases.

Morningstar analyst Neil Macker puts fair value at $22 for the stock and assigns it a narrow moat.

“Imax posted a better-than-expected second quarter, as both revenue and adjusted Ebitda beat FactSet consensus expectations,” he wrote July 28.

“While Imax’s quarterly box office rebounded strongly, it still only came in at one-third of the grosses for the second quarter of 2019. 

"The slow box office recovery was expected, but the ongoing spread of the Delta variant and the possible return of lockdowns could kill off the recovery before it speeds up.

“Imax remains largely dependent on the timing of the release slate from the major studios, local capacity constraints, and the willingness of consumers to return to theaters as they reopen.”