By Wall Street Journal: Xiaoqing Pi on July 24, 2013
Deal With Dalian Wanda Follows Pact With South Korean Partner
BEIJING—IMAX Corp. IMX.T -0.15%is joining with China's largest cinema chain to build as many as 120 new theaters in the country, dwarfing a deal that the company announced with a Korean partner last week.
The Chinese deal is IMAX's latest to target Asian consumers' increasing demand for watching Hollywood blockbusters on bigger, more immersive screens.
Under the agreement, IMAX will add between 40 and 120 theaters. At most, it would bring to 381 the number of IMAX theaters open or planned in China, with Wanda Cinema Line Corp. running up to 210 of them.
Wanda will build 40 new theaters by 2017 and the rest by 2020, said Wanda General Manager Jerry Ye.
There were 126 IMAX theaters in operation in China at the end of June. Greater China accounted for 15% of IMAX's first-half revenue.
The Canada-based company said last week that it would add 30 IMAX screens in China and five in South Korea with Korean partner CJ CGV Co. 079160.SE +0.20%
If Wanda builds all 120 theaters, IMAX would generate as much revenue from China as the U.S., said IMAX Chief Executive Richard Gelfond.
By The Wall Street Journal: Jeyup S. Kwaak on July 15, 2013
SEOUL—IMAX Corp. and its South Korean partner plan to add 30 IMAX movie screens in China and five in South Korea.
The expansion, to be announced in coming days, is aimed at capitalizing on rising entertainment spending by the Chinese middle class and demand for the immersive high-resolution technology in Korea, IMAX Chief Executive Richard Gelfond said.
The project is a joint venture with the overseas business arm of South Korea's largest theater chain, CJ CGV Co.
The deal will bring the number of IMAX screens scheduled for construction in China to 140 and in South Korea to 10. There were 118 IMAX screens in operation in China and 12 in South Korea at the end of March.
"What IMAX is doing is following the audience around the world," Mr. Gelfond said.
China is the world's second-largest movie market by box-office revenue, behind the U.S., and the number of screens in China is expected to eclipse that of North America by 2020, according to Ernst & Young.
By Boston Globe: Ty Burr on July 11, 2013
It’s an image as mythic as it is commercial: a metal giant so immense you have to stretch your brain to take it all in, snorting and stomping and outfitted with ingenious weaponry, and sequestered deep inside — unimaginably tiny amid the clanging machinery — the humans who control it with their minds.
As a metaphor for the state of modern Hollywood filmmaking, that’s hard to beat.
As the springboard for a muscular pop vision, it’s pretty impressive, too. “Pacific Rim” is, hands down, the blockbuster event of the summer — a titanic sci-fi action fantasy that has been invested, against all expectations, with a heart, a brain, and something approximating a soul.
By New York Times: A. O. SCOTT on July 11, 2013
Viewed from one angle — from below, say, as you cower before the IMAX screen, your 3-D glasses digging into the bridge of your nose, condensation from your Diet Coke dripping onto your leg — “Pacific Rim” looks
By BBC News: Shanaz Musafer on June 23, 2013
As an eight-year-old boy Rich Gelfond used to shine shoes to earn some money.
At 16 he was running his own newspaper in New York, with a circulation of about 25,000. The paper attracted national advertisers and he would walk up and down Madison Avenue selling space.
As someone who showed such entrepreneurial spirit as a child, it is perhaps not surprising that he has ended up running a large and successful business.
Some 50 years on from his shoe-shining days, Mr Gelfond is now chief executive of IMAX, the giant-screen, high-resolution cinema chain.
Underestimated the task