IMAX Makes New Deals in China, Russia And India

Gail Chiasson, North American Editor

IMAX Corporation, one of the world’s most recognized entertainment brands recently announced a 75-theatre joint revenue sharing agreement with Wanda Cinema Line Corporation in China.

This agreement with Wanda, which represents IMAX’s first full revenue-sharing agreement in China and its largest single international partnership to date, brings the total number of IMAX theatres slated to be open or in backlog in Greater China to 177 over the next few years.

Under the terms of the new partnership, IMAX will install its latestdigital theatre system technology into 25 of the exhibitor’s multiplex locations this year, with the remainder to be rolled out in 2012, 2013 and 2014.

IMAX also announced the formation of IMAX China to oversee the expansion of the rapidly growing IMAX business in the market. Greater China is IMAX’s second-largest market globally, with some of the network’s highest-grossing IMAX theatres in the world. The company believes that this, coupled with the significant opportunity the Greater China exhibition market presents, provides the strategic rationale for the establishment of IMAX China (Hong Kong), Ltd., a wholly-owned subsidiary of IMAX.

IMAX China was established to oversee the expanding IMAX business in Greater China. It is also in the process of organizing a wholly foreign-owned entity in the People’s Republic of China in order to manage the day-to-day operations of IMAX China in China.

In another deal, IMAX and Cinema Park, an exhibition chain owned by Russia’s largest media holding company, Profmedia, has made a sale agreement to install eight digital IMAXtheatre systems. Slated for installation in 2012 and 2013, the IMAX theatres will be located in multiplexes in Kaliningrad, Ulyanovsk, Omsk, Krasnoyarsk, Tula, Penza, Stavropol and Irkutsk.

The eight systems announced are in addition to the 10-system deal between IMAX and Cinema Park announced in July, 2010, and bring the total number of IMAX theatres scheduled to be operating in Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States to 46 by 2014. Russia and the CIS comprise IMAX’s third-largest market, behind the United States and China.

During the past year, the 17 IMAX theatres in the region have produced some of the highest per-screen box office averages in the world.

And in India, IMAX and PVR Cinemas, India’s leading cinema brand and operator of the country’s top-performing multiplexes, just announced an agreement to install digital IMAXtheatre systems in four key locations throughout India. Under the terms of the sales deal, which is subject to standard Indian regulatory approvals, the first two systems are scheduled to be installed within the next 12 months at two of India’s top-performing multiplexes in the cities of Mumbai and Bangalore.

PVR is considered a market-leading trend-setter throughout the Indian exhibition industry, and India is an aggressively growing market for premium entertainment.

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