Agreement Positions SFC, Number-Two Exhibitor in China, as Third-Largest IMAX Partner in China
BEIJING, July 21, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- IMAX Corporation (NYSE: IMAX; TSX: IMX) today announced an agreement with Shanghai Film Corporation (SFC), Shanghai United Circuit Co. Ltd. (SUC) and Shanghai SFG-EPR Cinema Development & Management Co., Ltd. (SFG-EPR) for 19 IMAX® theatres to be located in new construction projects throughout China. Nearly all of the 19 sites – which will be sales agreements – have been identified, with a significant number scheduled for installation before the end of 2015. Today's deal brings Shanghai Film's IMAX commitment to 22 theatres, positioning it as the Company's fifth-largest partner worldwide.
"This is a fitting way to mark our decade-long successful partnership with IMAX," said Zhu Zhongxiang, General Manager of SFC. "We've witnessed the demand for The IMAX Experience increase exponentially and as we embark on a major expansion of our exhibition business, IMAX will serve as the anchor attraction for our new sites. We are confident this investment will be a hit with our guests and continue to solidify our leading position in China's exhibition market."
Shanghai Film Corporation is China's largest state-owned enterprise in the exhibition industry, with the second-largest exhibition market share in the country, and owns 100% of SUC along with a major share at its joint venture (SFG-EPR) with EPR, an entertainment REIT from Kansas City. Shanghai Film Group, SFC's parent company, and SUC opened their first IMAX theatre – which was the first commercial IMAX theatre in China – in 2004 and went on to open two additional IMAX theatres in 2006 and 2010.
The agreement continues IMAX's momentum in China, which has seen the Company's year-to-date box office increase by 50%, propelled by a strong film slate – including the success of Paramount Pictures' Transformers: Age of Extinction. The film set a new opening weekend record for IMAX in China with box office of $9.75 million – more than double the previous record.
"Our strong box-office results in China and our strengthening presence within the China entertainment ecosystem continues to yield results, as evidenced by today's significant commitment by SFC," said IMAX CEO Richard L. Gelfond. "After 15 years in the market, our dedication to our business in China and to supporting the development of the nation's film and exhibition market is stronger than ever. We are confident that with valued partners such as SFC, a new and exciting chapter in entertainment in China is upon us."
About Shanghai Film Corporation
Shanghai Film Corporation (SFC) is a holding subsidiary of Shanghai Film Group Corporation. SFC operates in a few business areas including film distribution, copyright content sales, cinema line management, and the investment, development and management of cinemas. As one of the few companies which cover a complete chain of film distribution and exhibition, SFC perfectly combines a few roles as professional distributor, comprehensive cinema line and high-end theater operator. SFC is a leading company in both film distribution and exhibition businesses.
Shanghai United Circuit Co. Ltd., (SUC) a wholly-owned subsidiary of Shanghai Film Corporation, is one of the leading cinema lines in China. Now it has over 200 affiliate complexes in 24 provinces with over 1000 screens and 11 IMAX screens. In 2013, SUC had BO of RMB 1.88 billion with an 8.6% share of China, making it runner-up in its peers.
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.
Earlier this year IMAX China completed an agreement to sell a 20 percent stake to CMC Capital Partners, run by Ruigang Li, and FountainVest Partners, a leading China-focused private equity firm. IMAX China is incorporated under the laws of Hong Kong, headquartered in Shanghai, and has more than 60 employees. China is IMAX's second-largest and fastest-growing market.
IMAX is headquartered in New York, Toronto and Los Angeles, with offices in London, Tokyo, Shanghai and Beijing. As of March 31, 2014, there were 840 IMAX theatres (707 commercial multiplexes, 18 commercial destinations and 115 institutions) in 57 countries.
IMAX®, IMAX® 3D, IMAX DMR®, Experience It In IMAX®, An IMAX 3D Experience®, The IMAX Experience®, IMAX Is Believing® and IMAX nXos® 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.