Box office receipts for North American IMAX movies just about doubled in 2010, according to Hollywood news site Deadline Hollywood, from $271 million to $544 million. Before you get too excited, let me remind you that IMAX doesn't get to keep all of that -- the company typically rakes in about 13% of theatrical receipts as revenue.
Still, this is a very promising trend. Those production sales make up about a quarter of the company's sales these days, but IMAX squeezes one-third of total gross profits out of that take. A year ago, those figures stood at 19% and 22%, respectively.
Put another way, IMAX is growing its production revenues very quickly, without compromising the juicy margins therein. Add in a healthy helping of revenue-sharing agreements and steady system installations across the globe, and you have a tasty recipe for drastically increasing profits.
Of course, IMAX is nothing without a strong slate of movie releases. So far, Walt Disney
Given how IMAX releases support higher ticket prices, I don't see the growth abating anytime soon -- Hollywood loves nothing more than money. Even if IMAX can't double its revenue on double the box office, the profits sure follow suit -- and isn't that what really matters?
Add IMAX to your Foolish watchlist to get a larger-than-life view of Hollywood's future.
Fool contributor Anders Bylund holds no position in any of the companies discussed here. Disney is a Motley Fool Inside Value pick. IMAX is a longtime Motley Fool Rule Breakers selection. Disney and DreamWorks Animation are Motley Fool Stock Advisor recommendations. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. You can check out Anders' holdings and a concise bio if you like, and The Motley Fool is investors writing for investors.