Imax signs 10 theater deal in China


MUMBAI: Imax Corporation and Wanda Cinema Line Corporation inked an agreement to install 10 Imax theatres in The People’s Republic of China, with the first two installations scheduled for December of this year.


The agreement marks Imax’s largest ever multiple-theatre deal in Asia. Under the terms of the sales agreement, all of the theatres are to be installed either with Imax’s MPX theatre system or the Company’s new digital projection technology, which is currently in the advanced stages of development.


Wanda Cinema Line Corporation is the top performing and fastest growing exhibitor in The People’s Republic of China with 121 screens in 15 locations. All ten Imax theatres are expected to be installed by the end of 2010 and bring the total number of Imax theatres scheduled to be open in The People’s Republic of China to 39.


“Imax is a world-class brand that has been received exceptionally well across Asia, and we are very excited to include the Imax theatre business as an integral part of our present and future growth. Moviegoers in China expect a premium experience when they visit a modern multiplex and our Imax theatres will be able to deliver on that expectation and beyond, with the biggest Hollywood movies presented in the most engaging and immersive way. Imax puts you IN the movie, and no other cinema technology can do that,” said Wanda Cinema Line Corporation general manager Bao Jiazhong.


“China continues to be a key strategic growth market for Imax, and our partnership with Wanda Cinema Line — an exhibitor and property developer — gives us the opportunity to significantly expand our audience-base and ultimately drive greater interest in the region. This single deal is expected to increase our presence in China by more than 30 per cent. We are encouraged by the enthusiasm of our new partners and we look forward to working with them to bring The Imax Experience to more people in China,” said Imax co-CEOs and co-chairmen Richard L Gelfond and Bradley J Wechsler.


The first three locations will utilize the Imax MPX theatre system, Imax’s latest film projection technology specifically designed to enable multiplex operators to enter into the Imax theatre business. The remaining seven locations are scheduled to utilize Imax’s digital projection system. The exhibitor has options to upgrade the three MPX theatre systems to Imax digital on pre-negotiated terms, and to opt out of the final five installations subject to a material penalty.


All ten Imax theatres are scheduled to be installed as part of new multiplex constructions. The first two installations are scheduled to take place in December 2007, in the cities of Changsha and Changchun. Other identified cities include Beijing, Chongqing and Wuxi. Each theatre will be capable of playing digitally re-mastered Hollywood event films, as well as original Imax productions, in both 2D and Imax 3D.