IMAX Corporation (NASDAQ: IMAX; TSX: IMX) today announced it has signed an agreement with leading Russian retail and entertainment developer SBS to install an IMAX theatre in the city of Krasnodar under the developer's Seven Stars Cinemas brand name.
The IMAX theatre will be part of the SBS Megamall, which is the city's largest and most successful shopping mall. The deal follows the success of other IMAX theatres in Russia, which have consistently posted very strong box office results, demonstrating the growing consumer appetite for The IMAX Experience in the country. The new theatre is expected to be installed later this year to take advantage of IMAX's exciting Hollywood film slate.
"IMAX theatres deliver the best movie experience in the world, which is an ideal match for the world-class shopping experience our customers get when they visit the SBS Megamall," said Lev Papoyan, President of SBS. "The success of other IMAX theatres in Russia demonstrates an undeniably strong consumer appetite for The IMAX Experience in the country. We are very excited to satisfy that appetite at our mall, offering moviegoers the best possible way to experience Hollywood's biggest movies."
"Russia is becoming one of our stronger international markets, and our partnership with a prominent developer like SBS will certainly add to the momentum and expose our brand to audiences in a new part of the country for us," said IMAX CEO Richard L. Gelfond. "The year-over-year IMAX box office results for Russia have been very encouraging, and in particular, 2009 versus 2010. Last year the Russian IMAX network generated a total box office of $4.8 million, and in the first three months of 2010, those same IMAX theatres have already generated $9.4 million."
Located on the Black Sea, the city of Krasnodar is the southern-most district capital in Russia and has a population of 750,000. The new IMAX theatre will feature IMAX's digital projection system, which eliminates the high cost of film prints, making the IMAX business more attractive for theatre operators and film studios.
The current IMAX film slate for the remainder of 2010 includes Iron Man 2: The IMAX Experience (May 2010); DreamWorks Animation's Shrek Forever After: An IMAX 3D Experience(May 2010); Walt Disney Pictures' Prince of Persia: Sands of Time: The IMAX Experience (May 2010); Walt Disney Pictures' Toy Story 3: An IMAX 3D Experience (June 2010); Summit Entertainment's The Twilight Saga: Eclipse: The IMAX Experience (June 2010); Warner Bros. Pictures' Inception: The IMAX Experience (July 2010); Walt Disney Pictures' Tron Legacy: An IMAX 3D Experience (December 2010); and an IMAX original film in partnership with Warner Brothers, titled Hubble 3D (March 2010). The Company remains in active discussions with virtually all of the major studios regarding potential titles for release as far out as 2012.