IMAX Grows in Profits and Agreements

Gail Chiasson, North American Editor

IMAX Corporation, which has announced deals for 89 IMAX systems year-to-date, (compared to 35 for all of 2009), announced that for the second quarter ended June 30, 2010, IMAX DMR gross box office worldwide was approximately $115.0 million – an approximate 37% increase over last year’s second quarter).

For the six months ended June 30, 2010, gross box office from Hollywood DMR titles released to the worldwide IMAX theatre network was $347.2 million, compared to $112.2 million in the first six months of 2009.

“The drivers of our business model and long term growth continue to be network expansion and compelling programming,” says Richard Gelfond, IMAX CEO of IMAX Corporation.

Among recent signings that we haven’t already written about this year are new IAMX theatre agreements in Russia, Thailand, England and the Philippines.

  1. IMAX Corporation and Formula Kino, one of Russia’s leading exhibition chains, have made an agreement to install two digital IMAX theatre systems in Russia before the end of 2010. The announcement follows a consistent run of strong IMAX box office performances in Russia, reflecting the growing interest in the IMAX business from exhibitors in the region. The deal brings the total number of IMAX theatres scheduled to be operating in Russia by 2012 to 12.

    Under the deal, Formula Kino will install an IMAX system at the new Galleria Mall in St. Petersburg as well as a new system in the Mall of Russia, in the heart of Moscow. Formula Kino’s first cinema ‘Strela’ (The Arrow) opened in 1998 and is one of the key cinemas in Moscow. Today the cinema chain has 11 modern cinemas in Moscow with 61 screens, 11,959 seats and 6 million customers annually.

  2. IMAX and Major Cineplex, the leading commercial theatre operator in Thailand, have an agreement to install five IMAX digital theatre systems in that country. Under the terms of the agreement, Major Cineplex will open two theatres in greater Bangkok by October, 2010. Some of the other new IMAX theatres will go into upcoming new projects.

    Major Cineplex Group is the largest cinema operator in Thailand with 363 screens open at 49 locations. Several additional complexes are planned. Major Cineplex Group is also a leading Lifestyle Entertainment company in Thailand with a business portfolio also includes entertainment bowl, karaoke, ice-skating rinks, and retail space rental. It also integrates movie production business, theatrical film distribution, and DVD distribution business through its subsidiary company, M Pictures Entertainment. Internationally, And it has a joint venture with PVR Cinemas in India to develop entertainment bowling centers and is enjoying substantial growth.

  3. IMAX and ODEON & UCI Cinemas Group, Europe’s largest exhibitor, have agreed to install an IMAX digital theatre system in the exhibitor’s flagship location in Liverpool, England. The deal, which brings the total number of IMAX theatres operated by ODEON to seven, 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, Cardiff and Southampton. ODEON is the largest operator of IMAX theatres in the UK.
  4. And in the Philippines, IMAX and SM Prime Holdings, the largest mall operator and exhibitor in the Philippines, have announced an agreement to install five digital IMAX projection systems at SM shopping malls in the cities of Las Piñas City, Fort Bonifacio, Davao City, Angeles City and Manila. The deal follows the market-leading success of SM’s two existing IMAX theatres in Manila and Quezon, with the operator’s first IMAX location in Manila ranking as the highest grossing screen in the country since it opened.

    Three of the new IMAX theatre systems are expected to be installed in 2011 and two in 2012. SM will also open another location under a previous agreement in the city of Cebu this month.

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