Expects New, Flexible Deal Structures to Lead to Faster Penetration of South AmericaIMAX Sees Significant Growth Potential; 150 South American Theatre Zones Identified
NEW YORK, Jan. 17, 2012 /CNW/ - IMAX Corporation (NYSE: IMAX; TSX: IMX) today announced that it has restructured its master license agreement in South America with Giencourt Investments S.A., a member of the RACIMEC International Group (RACIMEC), in order to both play a more active role in the market and accelerate the roll-out of IMAX ® theatres across South America.
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Today's agreement allows for IMAX to be more involved in the market, in terms of systems and sales support as well as logistical and administrative functions, and for RACIMEC to offer multiple deal structures to prospective partners – including revenue sharing arrangements that have been very successful for IMAX in other markets. The parties agree that these adjustments to the original agreement should allow for more favorable terms to be offered to prospective exhibitor partners and believe that, as a result, the IMAX theatre network will expand in this strategic and underpenetrated region of the world at a faster rate than was previously possible. Additional terms of the restructured agreement were not disclosed.
"We expect these important changes in our agreement to accelerate our growth in South America," said Richard L. Gelfond, CEO, IMAX Corporation. "Not only have major international exhibitors expressed interest in expanding with us in this region of the world, but real estate developers have expressed a desire for the IMAX brand to anchor their development projects. We believe that our restructured agreement with our long-term partner, Miguel Sfeir and RACIMEC, will provide a 'win-win' scenario for each of us by enabling a faster penetration of this important growth market."
"This new structure should enable IMAX and RACIMEC to create more opportunities in the long run and accelerate market growth in the short run," said Miguel Sfeir, President of RACIMEC Corporation. "I continue to have numerous promising leads throughout the region and this restructured agreement allows me to turn those into concrete results."
Analysis of the market suggests that 150 IMAX theatres could exist across South America over time, up from 15 IMAX commercial theatres today. IMAX theatres in markets like Sao Paulo, Curitiba and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil are strong performers, having generated gross box office per screen of approximately $1.5 million, on average, in 2011. IMAX expects to open theatres from existing backlog through the RACIMEC relationship in 2012, in markets throughout Brazil and Argentina and also expects to open new theatres in 2012 as part of the new agreement.
About RACIMEC International Group
Founded in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in August 1966, as one of the most prominent entertainment and public gaming companies in the world, developing gaming applications such as Lotto and Soccer Lottery, for various Latin American countries including Brazil, Chile, Argentina, Venezuela, Colombia and Paraguay. The RACIMEC International Group has reached outstanding success in various countries with its starring game KINO, a pre-printed ticket game with a real time live TV show, crossing over the 4 billion dollar barrier during the last decade. RACIMEC has been identified by the Lottery market as the creator of new standards in Game operation and safety in the different countries where it operates.
About IMAX Corporation
IMAX Corporation is one of the world's leading entertainment and technology companies, specializing in the creation and delivery of premium, awe-inspiring entertainment experiences. With a growing suite of cutting-edge motion picture and sound technologies, and a globally recognized entertainment brand, IMAX is singularly situated at the convergence of the entertainment industry, innovation and the digital media world. The industry's top filmmakers and studios are utilizing IMAX theatres to connect with audiences in extraordinary ways, and as such, the IMAX network is among the most important and successful theatrical distribution platforms for major event films around the globe. The Company's new digital projection and sound systems - combined with a growing blockbuster film slate - are fueling the rapid expansion of the IMAX network in established markets such as North America, Western Europe, and Japan, as well as emerging markets such as China and Russia. IMAX theaters deliver the world's best cinematic presentations using proprietary IMAX®, IMAX 3D®, and IMAX DMR® (Digital Re-Mastering) technologies. IMAX DMR enables virtually any motion picture to be transformed into the unparalleled image and sound quality of The IMAX Experience®.
IMAX is headquartered in New York, Toronto and Los Angeles, with offices in London, Tokyo, Shanghai and Beijing. As of September 30, 2011, there were 583 IMAX theatres (441 commercial multiplex, 23 commercial destination and 119 institutional) operating in 48 countries.
IMAX®, IMAX® 3D, IMAX DMR®, Experience It In IMAX®, An IMAX 3D Experience® and The IMAX Experience® 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 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. Important factors that could affect these statements include, but are not limited to, general economic, market or business conditions, including the length and severity of the current economic downturn, the opportunities that may be presented to and pursued by the Company, competitive actions by other companies, the performance of IMAX DMR films, conditions in the in-home and out-of home entertainment industries, the signing of theatre system agreements, changes in law or regulations, conditions, changes and developments in the commercial exhibition industry, the failure to convert theatre system backlog into revenue, new business initiatives, investments and operations in foreign jurisdictions and any future international expansion, foreign currency fluctuations and the Company's prior restatements and the related litigation. These factors and other risks and uncertainties are discussed in the Company's most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and most recent Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q.
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