IMAX Corporation (NYSE: IMAX; TSX: IMX) and Toho Cinemas Ltd., Japan's highest-grossing exhibition company and subsidiary of Toho Co. Ltd., the largest film production and distribution company in Japan, announced an agreement for an IMAX® theatre to be added to Toho's new development in Shinjuku, the commercial, business and entertainment center of Tokyo.
The new construction project will include a hotel, restaurants, retailers and the Toho Cinemas Shinjuku where IMAX will serve as the multiplex's anchor entertainment attraction. The deal marks the Company's first agreement with Toho Cinemas and the first IMAX theatre to be located in downtown Tokyo.
IMAX opened its first commercial multiplex theatre in Japan in 2009 and has since expanded its contracted commercial network to 23 theatres, of which 17 are open. The demand for The IMAX Experience®continues to grow as evidenced by recent IMAX releases including Transformers: Age of Extinction, and Godzilla, which are among our highest-grossing opening weekends ever in Japan.
"Japan is the third-largest film market in the world and as evidenced by today's agreement and our recent box office success, our activity in this market continues to increase," said IMAX CEO Richard L. Gelfond. "It has been our experience that when new exhibitors enter our business, especially in a market with strong results, it often leads to greater demand. As such, we're delighted to welcome Japan's number one exhibitor to the IMAX business and bring the world's most immersive cinematic experience to such an iconic site in Tokyo."
"With the tremendous IMAX success of Godzilla and Transformers in Japan, we've witnessed the power of IMAX to deliver a differentiated experience that will attract audiences," said Mr. Kazuhiko Seta, President of Toho Cinemas Ltd. "As such, the addition of an IMAX theatre in the iconic Shinjuku area, at the Toho Cinemas Shinjuku, will create a landmark entertainment destination for the city of Tokyo. As this will be the beginning of our exciting new partnership, we look forward to further opportunities to leverage IMAX as a competitive advantage and delight more audiences throughout Japan."