NEW YORK and BEIJING, July 24, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- IMAX Corporation (NYSE:IMAX; TSX:IMX) and Wanda Cinema Line Corporation, Asia's largest cinema owner, today announced an amendment to the parties' original 2011 joint revenue share agreement with the addition of a minimum of 40 and up to 120 new IMAX® theatres to be located throughout China. The deal also extends Wanda's lease terms for all new theatres to 12 years from 10 years and brings Wanda's total IMAX commitment in China to up to 210 theaters, positioning Wanda Cinema Line as IMAX's largest international exhibition partner.
In addition, IMAX and AMC Theatres, a wholly owned subsidiary of Wanda Group, signed an agreement to extend AMC's lease terms for all new and existing theatres to 13 years from 10 years and install a minimum of five and up to 10 new IMAX theatres in the U.S. Today's agreement brings AMC's total IMAX commitment to up to 152 theatres, making them the largest IMAX exhibition partner in North America.
"We have developed great partnerships with Wanda and AMC during the last decade and we're excited that the combination of two of our strongest partners has allowed us to advance our relationships to the next level," said IMAX CEO Richard L. Gelfond. "The Wanda and AMC IMAX network continues to flourish and today's agreement underscores their ongoing confidence in IMAX to strengthen their businesses by delivering to audiences the industry's best cinematic experience."
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 largest operator of IMAX theatres.
"Our IMAX theatres have been showing strong performance while Wanda Cinema Line is constantly developing. We're delighted to build on our successful partnership that continues to differentiate our cineplex by offering a premium entertainment experience," said Jerry Ye, Vice President of Wanda Cultural Group, a subsidiary of Wanda Group.
"Week after week, AMC guests are choosing to see their Hollywood blockbusters in an IMAX auditorium," said Gerry Lopez, CEO and President of AMC. "As AMC continues to deliver the premiere experience in moviegoing, expanding our partnership with IMAX fits in perfectly with our strategy to provide the best options to even more of our guests."
"Wanda and AMC are two of the best IMAX theatre operators in the world," said Gelfond. "Their commitment to quality, innovation and building the IMAX brand means that we're not just adding more theatres, we're delivering IMAX audiences top-notch theatres with strong operations that help to differentiate The IMAX Experience®."
Under the terms of the agreement with Wanda Cinema Line, 80 of the potential 120 IMAX theatres are predicated on the successful development of IMAX's next-generation laser projection system. Upon Wanda Cinema Line's commitment to the 80 additional IMAX theatres, the lease terms for all Wanda IMAX theatres – including their existing theatres – will convert to 12 years. In addition, they may elect to install IMAX's laser projection in a portion of all Wanda IMAX theatres, making them the first exhibitor to bring IMAX's groundbreaking laser technology toAsia.
With today's agreement, there are now up to 381 IMAX theatres open or contracted to open in China.
About Wanda Cinemas
Wanda Cinemas, the top-ranked exhibitor in Asia, owns 119 modern, high-end chain movie theatres and over 1,100 projection screens, and has maintained a stable lead in market share in China, with a total gain of 1.57 billion Yuan in the first half of 2013, a 30.83% increase in comparison to 1.20 billion Yuan in the first half of 2012. 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. It is planned to open 140 cinemas by 2013 which are estimated to have 1,220 screens, and generate annual revenue of 3.2 billion Yuan accounting for more than 15% of total market share nationwide, becoming one of the top-ranking cinemas in the world.
About AMC Theatres
AMC Theatres delivers distinctive and affordable movie-going experiences in 342 theatres with 4,941 screens primarily in the United States. The company operates 25 of the 50 highest grossing theatres in the country, including four of the top five. AMC has propelled industry innovation and continues today by delivering premium sight and sound, enhanced food and beverage and diverse content. AMCTheatres.com.
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.
About IMAX Corporation
IMAX, an innovator in entertainment technology, combines proprietary software, architecture and equipment to create experiences that take you beyond the edge of your seat to a world you've never imagined. Top filmmakers and studios are utilizing IMAX theatres to connect with audiences in extraordinary ways, and, as such, IMAX's network is among the most important and successful theatrical distribution platforms for major event films around the globe.
IMAX is headquartered in New York, Toronto and Los Angeles, with offices inLondon, Tokyo, Shanghai and Beijing. As of March 31, 2013, there were 738 IMAX theatres (606 commercial multiplexes, 19 commercial destinations and 113 institutions) in 53 countries.
IMAX®, IMAX® 3D, IMAX DMR®, Experience It In IMAX®, An IMAX 3D Experience®, The IMAX Experience® and IMAX Is Believing® are trademarks of IMAX Corporation. More information about the Company can be found at www.imax.com. You may also connect with IMAX on Facebook (www.facebook.com/imax), Twitter (www.twitter.com/imax) and YouTube (www.youtube.com/imaxmovies).
This press release contains forward looking statements that are based on IMAX management's assumptions and existing information and involve certain risks and uncertainties which could cause actual results to differ materially from future results expressed or implied by such forward looking statements. These risks and uncertainties are discussed in IMAX's most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and most recent Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q.