Mumbai: Imax Corporation and Regal Cinemas, a subsidiary of Regal Entertainment Group, have inked a joint-venture agreement to install 31 Imax Digital projection systems at Regal locations in 20 major US markets.
The theatres will feature Imax’s Digital projection system that is being developed for the Imax MPX theatre design. The 31 Imax theatres announced will expand the joint venture partnership between Imax and Regal Cinemas to 38 theatres, and bring Regal’s total number of Imax theatres to 52 by the end of 2010.
Under the terms of the joint venture agreement, Imax and Regal Cinemas will share the cost and profitability of the new theatres. The first group of theatres is expected to open in time for Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince: The Imax Experience, which opens on 21 November this year.
"We are pleased to expand our Imax relationship with additional sites, and we’re excited to introduce Imax’s Digital projection system to Regal audiences in key markets throughout the United States," stated Regal Entertainment Group president and COO Greg Dunn. "Greg Foster, Rob Lister and Phil Groves were instrumental in working with Regal’s Imax Team to complete this agreement."
"Regal is one of the best theatre operators in the world and they have set a benchmark for marketing and drawing audiences to Imax theatres, as indicated by the results of our existing theatres in Regal locations," said Imax co-chairmen and co-CEOs Richard L. Gelfond and Bradley J. Wechsler. "We are extremely pleased to be expanding our relationship in such a significant way, and we are excited about the new locations in cities throughout the US."
The Imax Digital projection system will further enhance The Imax Experience and help to drive profitability for studios, exhibitors and Imax theatres by virtually eliminating the need for film prints, increasing program flexibility and ultimately increasing the number of movies shown on Imax screens.
Imax has already secured important parts of its film slate for 2008, 2009 and 2010 through agreements with major Hollywood studios including The Spiderwick Chronicles, Shine A Light, Speed Racer, Kung Fu Panda, The Dark Knight, Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, Under the Sea 3D, Monsters vs. Aliens 3D, Hubble 3D (working title), How to Train Your Dragon 3D, and Shrek Goes Fourth 3D.