IMAX Corporation (NASDAQ: IMAX; TSX: IMX) and Formula Kino, one of Russia's leading exhibition chains, today announced an agreement to install two digital IMAX® theatre systems in Russia before the end of 2010.
The announcement follows a consistent run of strong IMAX box office performances in Russia, reflecting the growing interest in the IMAX business from exhibitors in the region. The deal brings the total number of IMAX theatres scheduled to be operating in Russia by 2012 to twelve. With this new IMAX theatre contract signing, IMAX has signed deals for 84 IMAX systems year-to-date, which compares to 35 system signings in all of 2009.
Under the terms of the deal, Formula Kino will install an IMAX system at the new Galleria Mall in St. Petersburg as well as a new system in the Mall of Russia, in the heart of Moscow. The first system is scheduled to be installed in time for the IMAX release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows in November of this year, with the second system to follow shortly thereafter.
"The box office results that Russian IMAX theatres are posting clearly demonstrate the growing popularity of the IMAX brand in the region," said Andrei Tereshok, General Director, Formula Kino. "IMAX technology delivers a differentiated first-class movie experience that resonates well with Russian consumers and we are thrilled to be adding IMAX theatres to our flagship complexes in Russia's premier retail destinations."
"The rising Russian exhibitor interest in the IMAX business is a result of the real success that Russian IMAX theatres have had during the past year," said IMAX CEO Richard L. Gelfond. "By forging new partnerships with large, high-profile exhibitors like Formula Kino, we can continue to expand our audience base, grow our brand, and increase the visibility of our business for exhibitors in surrounding markets in Russia and the CIS."
Mr. Gelfond continued, "We're encouraged by the momentum we are experiencing with respect to theatre system signings in 2010. The combination of a strong film slate, growing theatre network and attractive business model gives us increased visibility into our future growth and we look forward to continuing to expand with both new and existing exhibition partners in the months and years ahead."
"This partnership secures our presence in two beautiful mall developments in Russia's major cities, which is an ideal way to build on our success and continue the execution of our growth strategy in the region," added Larry O'Reilly, IMAX's Executive Vice President of Theatre Development.
IMAX's digital theatre 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.