Imax continues international expansion; inks theatre deal in Russia

MUMBAI: Imax Corporation has signed an agreement with Russian retail and entertainment developer SBS to install an Imax theatre in the city of Krasnodar under the developer’s Seven Stars Cinemas brand name.

The Imax theatre will be part of the SBS Megamall, which is the city’s largest and most successful shopping mall. The deal follows the success of other Imax theatres in Russia, which have consistently posted very strong box office results, demonstrating the growing consumer appetite for The Imax Experience in the country. The new theatre is expected to be installed later this year to take advantage of Imax’s exciting Hollywood film slate.

"Imax theatres deliver the best movie experience in the world, which is an ideal match for the world-class shopping experience our customers get when they visit the SBS Megamall. The success of other Imax theatres in Russia demonstrates an undeniably strong consumer appetite for The Imax Experience in the country. We are very excited to satisfy that appetite at our mall, offering moviegoers the best possible way to experience Hollywood’s biggest movies," said SBS president Lev Papoyan.

"Russia is becoming one of our stronger international markets, and our partnership with a prominent developer like SBS will certainly add to the momentum and expose our brand to audiences in a new part of the country for us. The year-over-year Imax box office results for Russia have been very encouraging, and in particular, 2009 versus 2010. Last year the Russian Imax network generated a total box office of $4.8 million, and in the first three months of 2010, those same Imax theatres have already generated $9.4 million," said Imax CEO Richard L. Gelfond.

The new Imax theatre will feature Imax’s digital projection system, which eliminates the high cost of film prints, making the Imax business more attractive for theatre operators and film studios.