Theatre network growth helps Imax double Q4 earnings

The giant screen exhibitor also increased revenue from digitally re-mastering Hollywood and other foreign film titles for its expanding global footprint.

Imax continues to show the benefits of global theatre network expansion.

The Toronto-based exhibitor on Thursday posted earnings $12.9 million for the three months to Dec. 31, 2012, up sharply from a $6.3 million profit in the fourth quarter of 2011.

Q4 revenue rose 20% to $77.8 million.

As Imax continues to diversify away from the North American market, the exhibitor said it signed deals for 38 new theatres worldwide during the latest quarter, and installed 46 theatres.

And production and digital re-mastering revenue of films for its largest format screens increased 56.3% to $19.2 million in the fourth quarter,  compared to $12.3 million in the same period of 2011.

Gross box office from digitally re-mastered titles hit a record $152.0 million in the fourth quarter of 2012, mostly from Hollywood titles, compared to $97.6 million in the prior year period.