IMAX Corporation (NYSE:IMAX; TSX:IMX) and CJ CGV Holdings, Ltd., today announced an expansion of the companies' partnership with the addition of 35 new IMAX® theatres.
The deal includes 30 theatres to be installed in new construction projects across China as well as five previously optional theatres in Korea, now confirmed, which are subject to final documentation. Today's agreement brings CJ CGV's IMAX commitment to 95 theatres, with 20 in South Korea and 75 in China, positioning it at present as IMAX's largest exhibitor partner in Asia.
"The strength of our brand and technology in China enabled this agreement with CJ CGV, a world-class exhibitor and marketer of the IMAX brand," said IMAX CEO Richard L. Gelfond. "As our largest deal to date with CJ CGV, this agreement not only reinforces the value of The IMAX Experience® to drive business results for our partners, but also signals the momentum that continues to build for IMAX ternationally. We're excited to build on our successful partnership with such a substantial commitment."
As of Mar. 31, IMAX has 133 theatres open and 117 theatres in backlog in Greater China. Since 2010, the company has released ten local-language films in the region, with three thus far in 2013 and four planned for the remainder of the year. "With today's agreement, we are building on our success with IMAX, which continues to generate incremental attendance and revenue to our complexes," said Mr. Seo Jung, CEO of CJ CGV. "We are delighted to expand our IMAX network as it is a key strategy to supporting our growth across Asia Pacific, which has shown strong demand for IMAX's immersive experience."
Under the terms of the agreement, CJ CGV has also agreed to install IMAX's next-generation laser digital projection system in a theatre located in a major metropolitan area within Korea by the end of 2015, subject to final documentation. 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.