IMAX(R) Breaks Opening Weekend Global Box Office Record With Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows -- Part 2

Film Plays to Virtual Capacity Across IMAX(R) Theatres Worldwide

New York, New York, UNITED STATES


LOS ANGELES, July 19, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- IMAX Corporation (NYSE:IMAX) (TSX:IMX) and Warner Bros. Pictures announced today that Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2, the final installment of the blockbuster film series based on the beloved books by J.K. Rowling, surpassed opening weekend IMAX® box office records globally by generating $23.2 million of the film's record-setting estimated worldwide gross of more than $481 million, for an IMAX per-screen average of $59,000. Opening-weekend domestic records were broken as well, with IMAX bringing in $15.2 million of the movie's $169 million of total box office, or approximately $55,500 per screen.

Internationally, the movie earned approximately $8 million or $67,000 per screen for IMAX in its opening frame, with several key markets, including China, yet to open. Top runs included London's BFI IMAX Cinema, which posted opening launch box office of $180,000 as well as Tokyu's 109 Cinemas Kawasaki IMAX location, which was reopened after closing as a result of the tsunami and earthquake disaster in March and which generated box office of $147,000 in its first weekend.

"With sellouts all weekend and IMAX fans coming out in record numbers to see the highly anticipated conclusion of this global blockbuster, the only way we could have done better would have been to have more seats," said Richard L. Gelfond, CEO of IMAX. "Thankfully, as our network continues to expand, higher capacity is in our future."

"Extremely strong word-of-mouth resulted in exceptional day-to-day holds across our IMAX single-screen network," said Greg Foster, IMAX Chairman and President of Filmed Entertainment. "IMAX is honored to be a part of the magical conclusion of this storied franchise, which we expect to play in our theatres for many weeks to come."

"The release of this film marks the end of an era, and we could not be more pleased to enjoy this record-breaking success with our partners at IMAX," said Dan Fellman, President of Distribution, Warner Bros. Pictures. "It has always been a priority for us to be able to offer audiences - especially loyal Harry Potter fans - the most spectacular movie-going experience possible, and IMAX provides an incredible means of delivering the goods with this final installment of the beloved franchise."

"We are thrilled with the phenomenal results internationally, and this does not even include China, where the film will be released on August 4th and experienced on an additional 26 IMAX screens," says Veronika Kwan-Rubinek, President Distribution of Warner Bros. Pictures International.  "Our partnership with IMAX has proven itself time and time again, and we look forward to a long run for this amazing and final film of the franchise."

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2: An IMAX 3D Experience has been digitally re-mastered into the unparalleled image and sound quality of The IMAX Experience® through proprietary IMAX DMR® technology. With crystal clear images, laser-aligned digital sound and theatre geometry that maximizes field of view, IMAX provides the world's most immersive movie experience.

About Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2:

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2 is the final adventure in the Harry Potter film series. The much-anticipated motion picture event is the second of two full-length parts.

In the epic finale, the battle between the good and evil forces of the wizarding world escalates into an all-out war. The stakes have never been higher and no one is safe. But it is Harry Potter who may be called upon to make the ultimate sacrifice as he draws closer to the climatic showdown with Lord Voldemort.

It all ends here.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2 stars Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson, reprising their roles as Harry Potter, Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger. The film's ensemble cast also includes Helena Bonham Carter, Robbie Coltrane, Warwick Davis, Tom Felton, Ralph Fiennes, Michael Gambon, Ciarán Hinds, John Hurt, Jason Isaacs, Matthew Lewis, Gary Oldman, Alan Rickman, Maggie Smith, David Thewlis, Julie Walters and Bonnie Wright.

The film was directed by David Yates, who also helmed the blockbusters, "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix", "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" and "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1." David Heyman, the producer of all of the Harry Potter films, produced the film, together with David Barron and J.K. Rowling. Screenwriter Steve Kloves adapted the screenplay, based on the book by J.K. Rowling. Lionel Wigram is the executive producer.

Behind the scenes, the creative team included director of photography Eduardo Serra, production designer Stuart Craig, editor Mark Day, composer Alexandre Desplat, visual effects supervisor Tim Burke, and costume designer Jany Temime.

Warner Bros. Pictures Presents a Heyday Films Production, a David Yates Film, "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2," which marks the last installment in the most successful film franchise of all time. The film will be released in theatres and IMAX, in 3D and 2D.

"Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2" will be distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company. This film has been rated PG-13 for scary images, some violence, language and mild sensuality.

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 theaters deliver 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 and Shanghai. As of March 31, 2011, there were 528 IMAX theatres (408 commercial, 120 institutional) operating in 46 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).

The IMAX Corporation logo is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=6469

This press release contains forward looking statements that are based on 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 opportunities that may be presented to and pursued by the Company, competitive actions by other companies, the performance of IMAX DMR films, 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 convert theatre system backlog into revenue, new business initiatives, investments and operations in foreign jurisdictions and any future international expansion, foreign currency fluctuations and the Company's prior restatements and the related litigation and investigation by the SEC and the ongoing inquiry by the OSC.  These factors and other risks and uncertainties are discussed in the Company's most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and most recent Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q.



        

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