Exhibitor Exercises Option Announced in July Following IMAX Laser Demonstration;
Deal Extends Lease Terms for all Wanda IMAX Theatres
IMAX Corporation (NYSE:IMAX; TSX:IMX) and Wanda Cinema Line Corporation, Asia's largest cinema owner, today announced the confirmation of 80 additional IMAX theatres to be located throughout China as contemplated in the July 2013 amendment of the parties' original 2011 joint revenue share agreement, which added a minimum of 40 and up to 120 new IMAX®theatres.
Rollout of the additional theatres is expected to begin in 2016. In addition, the lease terms for all new and existing Wanda theatres have been extended to 12 years from theatre opening from 10. Today's commitment to the full 120 theatres brings the exhibitor's total IMAX commitment in China to 210 theatres.
"Exercising the 80-theatre option is a strong endorsement of the prospects for our laser system as well as of our partnership overall," said IMAX CEO Richard L. Gelfond. "Wanda's continued support and advocacy of the IMAX brand has been crucial to our network expansion across China. We are delighted to build on our partnership and together look forward to ushering in the next-generation cinema experience."
"We were very impressed with IMAX's laser system demonstration in November and are excited to bring this exciting technology to audiences in China," said Jerry Ye, Vice President of Wanda Cultural Group, a subsidiary of Wanda Group. "Today's significant expansion of our partnership is a testament to the value that IMAX brings to our business, supporting not only our growth, but also our mission to offer our patrons a premium, differentiated movie-going experience."
Under the terms of the agreement with Wanda Cinema Line, up to 40 of the confirmed 80 additional theatres - depending on the size of the screen and the gross of the complex - will install IMAX's next-generation laser projection system, which is expected to set a new benchmark as the industry's premium entertainment experience. The system, which represents the culmination of the largest R&D initiative in IMAX's history, incorporates the laser digital intellectual property IMAX exclusively licensed from Eastman Kodak and Barco's unique laser innovations. It is expected to set a new benchmark as the industry's premium entertainment experience and will enable IMAX's largest screens to deliver the highest-quality digital content available with greater brightness and clarity, a wider color gamut and deeper blacks.
Wanda Cinema Line was one of IMAX's first exhibition partners in China, opening a theatre in Dongguan in 2007. Building on the success of its existing IMAX theatres, the parties signed a 75-theatre joint venture agreement in 2011 that represented IMAX's first full revenue-sharing deal in China. In 2012, Wanda Group acquired AMC Theatres, IMAX's first and largest North American commercial exhibition partner, creating the world's largest cinema owner as well as the world's largest operator of IMAX theatres.
About Wanda Cinemas
Wanda Cinemas, the top-ranked exhibitor in Asia, owns 142 modern, high-end chain movie theatres and 1,247projection screens, and has maintained a stable lead in market share in China, with a total box office income of 3.2 billion Yuan in 2013. Wanda Cinemas aims to build core competitive strength of a high-end movie theatre chain service brand. "Chain operation capacity, innovative marketing capacity and service brand capacity" have become the three fundamental elements that underline the core competitiveness of Wanda Cinemas.
About IMAX China
IMAX China is a wholly-owned subsidiary of IMAX Corporation, and is incorporated under the laws of Hong Kong. IMAX China was established by IMAX Corporation specifically to oversee the expansion of IMAX's business throughout Greater China.