IMAX Corporation (NYSE:IMAX; TSX:IMX) and PVR Ltd. (PVR Cinemas), India's leading cinema brand and operator of the country's top-performing multiplexes, today announced an agreement to install an IMAX® theatre system in Bangalore that is scheduled to open by March 2013.
The deal follows an earlier agreement with PVR Cinemas announced in March 2011 for four IMAX theatres, bringing the exhibitor's total IMAX commitment to five. Today's deal also brings to 14 the total number of IMAX theatres open or contracted to open in India.
Under the terms of today's agreement, PVR Cinemas will install an IMAX theatre in a multiplex in Bangalore's Vega Mall - a new construction project that is slated to open by March 2013. The exhibitor also plans to open two of its previously contracted IMAX theatres in existing complexes in Bangalore and Mumbai in 2012, with the other two IMAX theatres set to go into new construction projects in the cities of Delhi and Noida, which are slated to open in 2012 and 2014 respectively.
"Audiences across India are passionate about cinema and with IMAX's worldwide brand, more and more patrons want to experience films in the premium immersive format only IMAX can deliver," said Ajay Bijli, Chairman of PVR. "We view IMAX as a competitive advantage for our business and we are delighted to bring more audiences in Bangalore The IMAX Experience®."
"We're excited to expand our partnership with PVR - now our second largest exhibitor in India," said IMAX CEO, Richard L. Gelfond. "With a population of 1.2 billion, a growing middle-class and strong movie-going culture, India is a market poised for tremendous growth. We also believe that by the end of 2013, we will be in a position to begin offering IMAX versions of Bollywood titles, which account for 90% of India's internal annual box-office receipts."
"PVR is a true innovator in the Indian exhibition industry, offering guests modern, state-of-the-art entertainment venues and we're pleased to build on our partnership," said Don Savant, Senior Vice President and Managing Director, Asia Pacific. "Today's agreement underscores the traction we are making in India and as the country's multiplex infrastructure continues to grow, we're excited to be on the ground floor of this emerging market."