IMAX Corporation (NYSE: IMAX) today announced that IMAX’s Chinese New Year slate of Chinese local language films delivered $61.3 million in box office receipts over the full 26-day holiday concluding today — up 72% over 2022 and marking the Company’s best-ever box office result for Chinese films during the peak moviegoing period.
The strong result was led by China Film Group’s “The Wandering Earth 2”, which now stands as the Company’s highest-grossing local language film of all time. The Filmed For IMAX title delivered $50.4 million on IMAX China screens — good for 9% of the film’s overall box office on less than 1% of screens. “The Wandering Earth 2” is also the Company’s third highest grossing release ever in China.
“The Chinese box office is back. Only two months into 2023, IMAX has delivered record-breaking results with its Chinese New Year slate and a strong performance in China for ‘Avatar: The Way of Water’ with a strong pipeline of Hollywood films yet to come,” said Rich Gelfond, CEO of IMAX. “With China reemerging as one of the world’s top moviegoing markets, IMAX has taken a big step forward in returning to pre-pandemic levels of global box office performance and we are very optimistic for the year ahead.”
Since fully reopening in December, the Chinese box office has made a stunning comeback — more than doubling North American box office for the month of January. Through today (February 16), IMAX has delivered $82 million at the Chinese box office in 2023 — already well over half of the $152.5 million it delivered across all of 2022. James Cameron’s “Avatar: The Way of Water” has been a strong contributor to the results, earning more than $52 million in China since its release on December 16 — only the third film ever to deliver more than $50 million at the box office in China.
IMAX diverse Chinese New Year slate for the holiday also included Huanxi Media and Maoyan’s “Full River Red”, the period drama that marks the fifth collaboration between IMAX and director Zhang Yimou. The Chinese New Year IMAX slate was rounded out by animated film “Deep Sea” produced by Enlight Film, and espionage thriller “Hidden Blade” produced by Bona Film and Xiyue Film.
“Our excellent slate of Chinese New Year films provides a great springboard for the year ahead, and we congratulate our Chinese studio and filmmaking partners for reigniting the country’s passion for moviegoing in such dramatic fashion. We look forward to much more to come in 2023,” said Daniel Manwaring, CEO of IMAX China.
The coming weeks will see a number of high-profile Hollywood releases debut across the IMAX China network, including this weekend’s “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania” from Disney/Marvel, as well as Warner Bros./DC’s “Shazam! Fury of the Gods” and Paramount’s “Dungeons and Dragons: Honor Among Thieves”.