Building on a year of unprecedented international network growth, IMAX Corporation (NASDAQ: IMAX; TSX: IMX) today announced that it has signed an agreement with Guangzhou Jinyi Film & Television Group, Co., Ltd., a leading entertainment developer and exhibitor in China, to open eight IMAX® theatres in China. The agreement adds to the four IMAX theatres already contracted between the two parties, bringing the exhibitor's total number of IMAX theatres scheduled to open by 2014 to 12.
The first installation is scheduled to be completed during December 2010, followed by another five in 2011, four in 2012, one in 2013 and one in 2014. This deal brings the total number of IMAX theatres scheduled to be operating in China by 2014 to 65, and the number of theatre systems signings announced year-to-date by the Company to 103, which compares to 35 systems in all of 2009.
"IMAX represents the world's best cinematic experience and it is very clear that the IMAX brand is highly regarded by consumers in China, where IMAX screens are significantly outperforming conventional movie screens in both 2D and 3D," said Ms. Shirley Ye, General Manager, Guangzhou Jinyi Film and Television Investment Group, Co. Ltd. "We chose to add IMAX locations based on the rapidly growing demand for The IMAX Experience® in cities throughout China, and the proven business model of IMAX's digital projection system."
"Our business model is based on installing IMAX theatres in hand-picked, select locations, and we believe expanding our relationship with Guangzhou Jinyi Film & Television Group will extend our access to more of those ideal locations," said IMAX CEO Richard L. Gelfond. "Additionally, the need to foster relationships with exhibitors that have extensive experience with mixed programming is essential as we begin to explore the business of adding mainstream Chinese films to our slate in the greater China market."
Mr. Gelfond continued, "Our Chinese network is scheduled to at least double in size over the next couple of years, and the high number of signings we've had year-to-date worldwide is positioning us for significant network growth in 2010, 2011 and beyond."
IMAX's revolutionary 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. IMAX 3D is recognized worldwide as the most immersive 3D cinema experience.
About Guangzhou Jinyi Film & Television Investment Group, Co. Ltd. In 2004, Jinyi Film & Television officially became the cooperative partner of Warner Bros. Entertainment, Inc. Now, Jinyi Film & Television has opened 27 theatres in China with another 100 theatres in backlog. Jinyi has invested its own cinemas, under the exhibition chain brand "Jinyi", in the cities of Guangzhou, Zhongshan, Shenzhen, Zhanjiang, Wuhan, Zhejiang, Wuxi, Chongqing, Jiaxing, Tianjin, Beijing, Fuzhou, Xiamen, Shanghai, Ningbo, Suzhou and Dongguan. On Apr, 1st, 2008, the Guangzhou Jinyi Pearl River Cinemaline, which was co-founded by Guangzhou Jinyi Film & Televition Investment Group and Guangdong Pearl River Film Company, has officially launched into operation, with more than 40 cinemas under its name throughout