IMAX Corporation (NASDAQ:IMAX; TSX:IMX) and ODEON & UCI Cinemas Group, Europe's largest exhibitor, today announced 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 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 featuring Johnny Depp, posting strong pre-sales and numerous sold out shows. The new ODEON location will capitalize on IMAX's growing Hollywood film slate and is scheduled to open in time for the IMAX 3D release of DreamWorks Animation's How to Train Your Dragon on April 2, 2010.
"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," said 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."
"We are very excited to extend the IMAX offering to the south coast in our Southampton location and believe there are still more opportunities for ODEON and IMAX in the future," added Roger Harris, Managing Director, ODEON Cinemas.
"Our expanding partnership with ODEON & UCI Cinemas Group, Europe's largest exhibitor, continues to strengthen the alignment of our brand with one of the most recognized cinema brands in the world," said IMAX CEO Richard L. Gelfond. "We're delighted to expand the ODEON/IMAX footprint in the UK, as Alice in Wonderland builds on our recent success with Avatar, and look forward to sharing our strong film slate with moviegoers in Southampton, starting with the IMAX 3D release of How to Train Your Dragon."
"I am very happy to see ODEON and UCI Cinemas Group's ongoing success with the IMAX business. IMAX has been driving revenue and foot traffic at each Odeon multiplex we are operating in, and the results are impressive," added Larry O'Reilly, Executive Vice President of Theatre Development. "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 delivers The IMAX Experience and 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.