updated 5/23/2011 9:15:56 PM ET 2011-05-24T01:15:56

LOS ANGELES, May 23, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- IMAX Corporation (NYSE:IMAX) (TSX:IMX) and The Walt Disney Studios announced today that the action fantasy adventure Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides posted global opening weekend record results for IMAX of $16.5 million on 394 IMAX screens. Domestically, IMAX screens generated approximately $8.2 million of the film's $90.1 million, for a per-screen average of $32,000. Internationally, the film grossed approximately $8.3 million on 138 IMAX screens, or roughly $60,100 a screen.

"These results demonstrate the rising global appeal of top Hollywood blockbusters presented in IMAX's format, and perfectly highlight the potential inherent in IMAX's international growth strategy," said IMAX CEO Richard L. Gelfond. "This dynamic is driving our global network expansion and is particularly encouraging in some of our under-penetrated overseas markets, where we continue to see excellent opportunity for future growth."

The IMAX release of Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides generated a per-screen average of more than $100,000 on 15 international IMAX screens, eight of which are in Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). Others are in China, Korea, Taiwan, Australia, Europe and Japan. The highest-grossing screen worldwide is the IMAX Kinosfera in Moscow, with a gross to date of more than $240,000. Newly opened IMAX® theatres in Milan, Italy ($51,650) and Mallorca, Spain ($48,000) have also posted strong results. 

The Company noted that its results in China were particularly encouraging. Wanda Cinema Line, with which IMAX recently signed a 75-theatre joint revenue sharing agreement, reported an opening weekend total gross of $675,000 from its nine existing IMAX locations for an average of $75,000 per screen.

"The film's excellent performance worldwide demonstrates that, when given the choice, consumers both domestically and abroad continue to seek out The IMAX Experience®," added Greg Foster, Chairman and President, IMAX Filmed Entertainment. "Disney, Jerry Bruckheimer and the production team have their hands on the pulse of the global marketplace and we're thrilled to be along for the ride."

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides: An IMAX 3D Experience has been digitally re-mastered into the image and sound quality of The IMAX Experience with proprietary IMAX DMR® (Digital Re-mastering) technology for presentation in IMAX® 3D. The crystal-clear images, coupled with IMAX's customized theatre geometry and powerful digital audio, create a unique immersive environment that will make audiences feel as if they are in the movie.

About Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides:

Produced by Jerry Bruckheimer and directed by Rob Marshall, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides captures the fun, adventure and humor that ignited the hit franchise—this time in Disney Digital 3D™. Johnny Depp returns to his iconic role of Captain Jack Sparrow in an action-packed adventure. Crossing paths with the enigmatic Angelica (Penélope Cruz), he's not sure if it's love—or if she's a ruthless con artist who's using him to find the fabled Fountain of Youth. When she forces him aboard the "Queen Anne's Revenge," the ship of the legendary pirate Blackbeard (Ian McShane), Jack finds himself on an unexpected adventure in which he doesn't know whom to fear more: Blackbeard or Angelica, with whom he shares a mysterious past. The international cast includes franchise vets Geoffrey Rush as the vengeful Captain Hector Barbossa and Kevin R. McNally as Captain Jack's longtime comrade Joshamee Gibbs, plus Sam Claflin as a stalwart missionary and Astrid Bergès-Frisbey as a mysterious mermaid.

Opening in Disney Digital 3D™ and IMAX 3D, Walt Disney Pictures' and Jerry Bruckheimer Films' Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides features a screen story and screenplay by Ted Elliott & Terry Rossio, based on characters created by Ted Elliott & Terry Rossio and Stuart Beattie and Jay Wolpert, and suggested by the novel by Tim Powers.

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides has been rated PG-13 for intense sequences of action/adventure violence, some frightening images, sensuality and innuendo.

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.

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

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 ).

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.

CONTACT: Investors:
         IMAX Corporation, New York
         Heather Anthony/Blaire Lomasky
         212-821-0100
         hanthony@imax.com
         blomasky@imax.com
         
         Business Media:
         Sloane & Company, New York
         Whit Clay
         212-446-1864
         wclay@sloanepr.com
         
         Media:
         IMAX Corporation, New York
         Ann Sommerlath
         212-821-0100
         asommerlath@imax.com
         
         Entertainment Media:
         Principal Communications Group, Los Angeles
         Melissa Zuckerman/Paul Pflug
         323-658-1555
         melissa@pcommgroup.com
         paul@pcommgroup.com

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