Agreement is Largest International Deal Ever for IMAX, Second-Largest in Company History Company Forms Wholly-Owned Subsidiary to Oversee Expanding IMAX Business in Greater China
NEW YORK and BEIJING, March 24, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- IMAX Corporation (NYSE:IMAX) (TSX:IMX), one of the world's most recognized entertainment brands and the leader in delivering awe-inspiring entertainment experiences, today announced a 75-theatre joint revenue sharing agreement with Wanda Cinema Line Corporation. IMAX also announced the formation of IMAX China to oversee the expansion of the rapidly growing IMAX business in the market.
"Wanda Cinema Line is the largest theatre operator in China and is on a very aggressive build-out trajectory," said IMAX CEO Richard L. Gelfond. "Wanda's theatres, including their IMAX ® theatres, have been very successful, and we believe this large rollout of IMAX theatres will be a very successful arrangement for both companies."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 latest digital 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. "Including IMAX theatres has set our complexes and developments apart and we are very excited to significantly expand our network of IMAX locations and to offer The IMAX Experience ® to more of our customers throughout the country," said Chairman Wang of Wanda Cinema Line Corporation. "IMAX represents a premium movie-going experience, and is a key component of our development now and in the future." Wanda, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Dalian Wanda Group, is the largest cinema operator in the People's Republic of China, as well as the country's largest operator of IMAX theatres, with 10 theatres open to date and another 81 theatres in backlog. With today's announcement, Wanda is poised to become the largest operator of IMAX theatres outside of North America and the second-largest operator of IMAX theatres worldwide with a total commitment of 91 theatres.