IMAX Comes to Southampton

Gail Chiasson, North American Editor

Toronto-based IMAX Corporation and ODEON & UCI Cinemas Group, Europe’s largest exhibitor, have made an agreement to install an IMAX digital theatre system in the exhibitor’s multiplex in Southampton, England.

The deal, which brings the total number of IMAX theatres operated by ODEON to six, was signed as a result of the growing success and popularity of the exhibitor’s other IMAX locations including digital IMAX venues in Wimbledon, Greenwich, Gateshead and Cardiff.

The deal also follows the record-breaking box office success of the IMAX 3D release of Avatar, which has, to date, grossed more than $8 million from nine IMAX screens in the United Kingdom and approximately $220 million from 262 IMAX screens worldwide. The five existing ODEON IMAX screens also witnessed a record breaking weekend for the IMAX 3D release of Disney‘s Alice in Wonderland.

The new ODEON location will capitalize on IMAX’s growing Hollywood film slate and is scheduled to open in time for the April 2 IMAX 3D release of DreamWorks Animation’s How to Train Your Dragon.

“The incremental boost in performance that we receive by adding an IMAX theatre to our existing complexes helps to drive our bottom line and our overall box office, but most importantly, it gives ODEON customers the premium cinema experience they are looking for,” says Rupert Gavin, CEO of ODEON & UCI Cinemas Group. “The exceptional performance of our IMAX locations clearly demonstrates that the premium IMAX option is attracting more patrons to our complexes.”

“IMAX has been driving revenue and foot traffic at each Odeon multiplex we are operating in, and the results are impressive,” says Larry O’Reilly, executive vice-president of Theatre Development, IMAX. “The Group’s endorsement of our digital projection system reinforces the power of The IMAX Experience in a multiplex setting.”

IMAX’s digital projection system helps drive profitability for studios, exhibitors and IMAX theatres by eliminating the need for film prints, increasing program flexibility and ultimately increasing the number of movies shown on IMAX screens. The system can run both IMAX and IMAX 3D presentations.

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