Renowned Director Feng Xiaogang's "Aftershock" to be digitally
re-mastered into The IMAX Experience(R) and released internationally
in July 2010
SHANGHAI, June 16 /CNW/ - IMAX Corporation (NASDAQ: IMAX; TSX: IMX) and
Huayi Bros. Media Corporation Ltd., China's largest privately owned media
group, today announced an agreement to release up to three pictures, beginning
with the release of the highly-anticipated upcoming Chinese film "Aftershock,"
to IMAX(R) Theatres in China, other parts of Asia and key North American
markets in July 2010. Directed by renowned film director, Feng Xiaogang,
"Aftershock" will be the first mainstream Chinese film and the first
mainstream commercial film outside of the U.S. to be digitally re-mastered
into the unparalleled image and sound quality of IMAX's format.
The multi-picture agreement between IMAX and Huayi Bros. Media will
capitalize on the growing size and scope of the IMAX theatre presence in China
and throughout Asia. In addition, the agreement will allow both companies to
bring outstanding Chinese films, enjoyed by millions of Chinese audiences
including those outside China, to mainstream global audiences in a new
immersive way. IMAX anticipates that "Aftershock" will play in 25-30 IMAX
theatres in Greater China and other parts of Asia when it opens next summer.
"It's our great honor to be working with Huayi Brothers, China's
undisputed leader in the movie industry and acclaimed director Feng Xiaogang.
This new arrangement enables the IMAX theatre network to expand beyond its
role as a key distribution platform for Hollywood blockbusters and introduce a
global audience to major movie studios outside of North America through IMAX's
immersive format," said IMAX CEO Richard L. Gelfond. "Our growing presence and
new investments in China not only underscore our commitment to building the
IMAX brand, but also demonstrate our support of the Chinese film industry."
"Working with IMAX to present China's most talked about and anticipated
2010 Chinese film, "Aftershock," in IMAX's format, is not just a significant
development for Huayi on the international film stage, it is also a milestone
step for the mainstream Chinese film industry," added Dennis Wang, Chairman
and CEO, Huayi Bros. Media. "The globally-recognized IMAX brand has become
synonymous with Hollywood's biggest movie events, and we strongly believe that
cache will escalate the visibility of Chinese films on the world's stage.
Working with IMAX will give us a competitive advantage in the marketing and
distribution of "Aftershock" and future Chinese films."
Echoing strong confidence in this new partnership is Mr. Tong Gang,
Director-General of the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television's
(SARFT) Motion Picture Bureau. "This agreement between two industry leaders
today further demonstrates the recognition of Chinese films by the
international film industry, which is already winning some of the most
prestigious awards in film festivals around the world. I firmly believe that
films are one of the best ways to showcase our Chinese culture, and I am
excited that this partnership will expose cinema-goers all over the world to
more and more of the best Chinese movies, and in the process, help bridge
China's geographical and cultural divide with the world."
"Aftershock" will be released in China on July 28, 2010 and, as with all
of Director Feng Xiaogang's films, it is anticipated to be among the biggest
blockbusters of the year. The film centers on the life-changing moments and
psychological dimensions of a seven year-old girl who survived the 1976
Tangshan earthquake, which killed more than 200,000 people.
"IMAX is a well-respected international brand that represents an advanced
immersive movie experience, coupled with unparalleled image and sound
quality," added Director Feng Xiaogang. "It will be the ideal theatrical
format to present the devastation of the Tangshan earthquake and the Chinese
people's resistance and camaraderie in times of adversity that is depicted in
my latest film."
IMAX Corporation has developed a proprietary process to re-master films
into IMAX's format so that audiences can experience the adventure, drama and
emotion of their favorite blockbusters with the unparalleled image and sound
quality of The IMAX Experience(R). Known as IMAX DMR(R), this proprietary
technology digitally enhances the image and sound quality of these films for
exhibition in IMAX theatres. The resulting images have a level of clarity and
sharpness that consumers expect from The IMAX Experience.
The IMAX theatre network has successfully exhibited dozens of Hollywood's
biggest films that have been digitally re-mastered into IMAX's format in 2D
and IMAX(R) 3D. The new business relationship with Huyai Bros. is similar to
those IMAX has with its studio partners in Hollywood.
Currently, the IMAX theatre network consists of more than 370 IMAX
theatres in 43 countries. Close to one billion people have visited an IMAX
theatre since the Company's inception. China is IMAX's largest international
growth market with 18 theatres currently open and more than 40 scheduled to be
open by the end of 2012.
About IMAX Corporation
IMAX Corporation is one of the world's leading entertainment technology
companies, specializing in immersive motion picture technologies. The
worldwide IMAX network is among the most important and successful theatrical
distribution platforms for major event Hollywood films around the globe, with
IMAX(R) theatres delivering the world's best movie presentations using
proprietary IMAX, IMAX(R) 3D, and IMAX DMR(R), technology. IMAX DMR is the
Company's groundbreaking digital re-mastering technology that allows it to
digitally transform virtually any conventional motion picture into the
unparalleled image and sound quality of The IMAX Experience(R). The IMAX brand
is recognized throughout the world for extraordinary and immersive
entertainment experiences for consumers. As of March 31, 2009, there were 371
IMAX theatres (250 commercial, 121 institutional) operating in 43 countries.
IMAX(R), IMAX(R) 3D, IMAX(R) DMR, The IMAX 3D Experience(R) and The IMAX
Experience(R) 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/imaxnews) and
Background on Huayi Bros.
Huayi Brothers Group Ltd. is one of China's largest film studios.
Described as "China's Warner Bros of tomorrow" because of its potential
in the booming market, holds about a 30-40 percent market share in domestic
movie production (top 20 films) and 30 percent in movie distribution.
Huayi was established by brothers Wang Zhongjun (Dennis Wang) and Wang
Zhonglei (James Wang) in 1994. The Wang brothers hold a combined stake in
Huayi of more than 50 percent. Other major investors include Tom Group Ltd.,
Focus Media Holding Ltd., and Yahoo China.
The company has solely or jointly produced more than 50 movies since
1998, including award-winning A World Without Thieves (2005) starring Hong
Kong actor Andy Lau which produced USD$13.8 mil in China BO, The Banquet
(2006) USD$17.6 mil in China BO by famous Chinese director Feng Xiaogang,
Assembly (2007) with USD$38.2 mil in China BO also directed by Feng Xaiogang,
and If You are the One (2008) with USD$43.8 mil in China BO. Huayi has also
worked with Sony Pictures in the past to jointly invest in or produce Chinese
movies, some of which target overseas audience markets. Due to the rapid
growth of new cinemas in China, Huayi has significantly grown its China BO and
has made a name for itself internationally as a producer of quality foreign
Huayi also runs a variety of other businesses including music recording
and agent services for artists. Huayi has begun to build a theatre network in
China with plans for 150 to 200 screens within five years.
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 ongoing
discussions with the SEC and OSC relating to their ongoing inquiries and the
Company's accounting, the performance of films, the signing of theatre system
agreements, the viability of new technologies, businesses and products, the
timing of theatre system deliveries, the mix of theatre systems shipped, the
timing of the recognition of revenues and expenses on film production and
distribution agreements, risks arising from potential material weaknesses in
internal control over financial reporting and fluctuations in foreign currency
and in the large format, general commercial exhibition and out-of-home
entertainment markets. 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.
For further information:
For further information: Media: IMAX Corporation, New York, Sarah
Gormley, (212) 821-0155, email@example.com; Entertainment Media: Rogers &
Cowan, Los Angeles, Jason Magner, (310) 854-8128, firstname.lastname@example.org;
Investors: IMAX Corporation - New York, Heather Anthony, (212) 821-0121,
email@example.com; Business Media: Sloane & Company, New York, Whit Clay,
(212) 446-1864, firstname.lastname@example.org