Imax 2023 Box Office Nears Company Record, Thanks to Oppenheimer



Imax boasted a near-record year at the box office in 2023, thanks to the smash success of Christopher Nolan’s sci-fi epic “Oppenheimer.”

The company — which houses some of the biggest and brightest movie theater screens, known in the industry as premium large formats (PLF) — collected $1.06 billion worldwide, the second-largest year in its history. Those ticket sales were up 24.4% from 2022’s total revenues.

With $393.2 million in North American box office returns, 2023 ranked as Imax’s highest-grossing year domestically — above 2019, a year that fueled nine billion-dollar blockbusters including “Avengers: Endgame.” Imax also recorded a benchmark-setting $227.1 million in local language box office from films across China, India, and Japan, as well as new studio partners in Indonesia and Thailand.

Part of the year-over-year growth is because Imax has expanded its footprint, with 1,615 locations in 2023 compared to 1,529 locations in 2019. Imax also programmed more films than it has in the past; 98 new movies played on the company’s screens over the past 12 months.

“Oppenheimer” was by far the biggest earner with $183.2 million from Imax screens. Nolan’s devotion to the company’s premium format even prompted some devoted fans to cross state and country lines to catch the film in the best possible quality. “Oppenheimer,” a three-hour biopic about the so-called father of the atomic bomb, became Imax’s fourth-highest grossing release of all time. It also pushed the company to its highest-grossing summer ever in 54 countries, including the U.S. and China.

Outside of “Oppenheimer” fervor, Taylor Swift’s “Eras Tour” concert film and Universal and Illumination’s animated “The Super Mario Bros. Movie” were other popular choices to watch in Imax.

“From ‘Oppenheimer’ to Taylor Swift to releases from across China, India, and Japan, Imax delivered more awe-inspiring experiences from more creative partners in 2023, resulting in one of our best years ever,” said Rich Gelfond, CEO of Imax. “We will continue to push the envelope with our technology to make the impossible feel real for audiences around the world, and drive future growth for our company.”

Imax hopes to continue the good times in the new year by scheduling more than 100 films in 2024, including “Dune — Part Two”, “Despicable Me 4”, “Joker: Folie à Deux,” “Deadpool 3”, and “Wicked.” On the events and experiences front, “Queen Rock Montreal,” a rendering of the rock band’s 1981 concert, will play in select theaters this month.


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