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An audience watches "The Dream is Alive" film at the IMAX Theater at Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Washington April 4, 2012.

GARY CAMERON/REUTERS

Global expansion helped put big-screen theatre company Imax Corp. in the black in the first quarter, reversing a year-earlier loss.

Imax said Friday that net income in the three months ended March 31 was $2.6-million (U.S.) or four cents per diluted share on revenues of $55.6-million.

That compared with a net loss of $1-million or two cents per share on revenues of $45.2-million in the same 2011 period.

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"Our first-quarter financial results were driven by strong year-over-year increases in recurring revenues, which reflects the powerful combination of film performance and our growing worldwide theatre network," Imax CEO Richard Gelfond said in a statement accompanying the results.

"Our rapid global expansion has led to 32 per cent commercial network growth versus the same time last year," Mr. Gelfond added.

"In addition, the box office momentum we experienced in the first quarter has continued into the second quarter, with gross box office to date up roughly 500 per cent versus the same period last year and the summer movie season still ahead."

Mr. Gelfond said the company believes the momentum it is currently experiencing, "together with our growing network, backlog of theatres, cutting-edge technology and the introduction of our new brand campaign should result in continued growth over the long-term."

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