Agreement Brings Chinese Exhibitor's Total IMAX Commitment to 12 Theatres
BEIJING, Jan. 3, 2012 /CNW/ - IMAX (NYSE: IMAX) (TSX: IMX) and Lark International Multimedia (Lark) today announced two agreements to install a total of five digital IMAX® theatre systems into new multiplexes across Greater China. These agreements bring Lark's total IMAX commitment to 12, and bring the total number of IMAX theatres open or contracted to open in Greater China to 212.
Under the terms of the agreements, the first IMAX theatre is scheduled to open in 2013, three theatres are scheduled to open in 2014 and the remaining theatre is scheduled to open in 2015. Lark currently operates four IMAX theatres in Hong Kong, Wuhan and Shenzhen. In addition, Lark has three IMAX theatres set to open in 2012 and 2013 - in Hong Kong, Guangzhou and Chengdu.
"We consider IMAX a key element in our overall growth strategy and the success of our existing installations demonstrates the increasing demand for this superior format," said Mr. Robert Vallone, the Director and General Manager of Lark. "Since the opening of our first IMAX theatre in 2007, IMAX continues to differentiate our multiplexes from competitors. We look forward to continuing to leverage the IMAX advantage by adding five additional theaters to our circuit."
"Lark's UA iSquare IMAX theatre in Hong Kong was the highest grossing theatre worldwide for the blockbuster Avatar," said IMAX CEO Richard L. Gelfond. "The expansion of our successful relationship with Lark underscores how our unsurpassed immersive format combined with our slate of Hollywood and local language blockbusters – such as Bona Films' Flying Swords of Dragon Gate, which has already grossed more than $7 million in IMAX theatres across China – continues to deliver strong results for exhibitors worldwide."
"China is our fastest growing market and our theaters in China are among the highest-grossing IMAX theatres in the world," added IMAX China CEO Jiande Chen. "We are very proud of our longstanding relationship with one of Asia's leading exhibitors and we look forward to continued success with the expansion of their IMAX footprint."
"Lark is a pioneer in the Asian exhibition industry developing some of the very first multiplexes in China and Asia," said Don Savant, IMAX's Senior Vice President and Managing Director, Asia Pacific. "They are also a pioneer in the IMAX business, opening the first IMAX in Hong Kong and in cities across mainland China. We are excited to expand our partnership with one of the top exhibitors in the region."
IMAX's digital projection system delivers The IMAX Experience® and helps drive profitability for studios, exhibitors and IMAX theatres by eliminating the need for film prints, increasing program flexibility and ultimately increasing the number of movies shown on IMAX screens. The system can run both IMAX and IMAX® 3D presentations.
About Lark International Multimedia Ltd.
Lark International Multimedia Limited pioneered the operation of US-style multiplex cinema chains in Hong Kong and China. Leveraging its phenomenal success in this area, the company also carried out synergistic expansion into such related fields as film distribution, online ticketing, and cinema advertising sales. The company's cinema chain, UA Cinemas, operates 59 screens in eleven cinemas in Hong Kong, Shenzhen and Macau including the number one grossing cinema in Hong Kong. Another chain, Studio City Cinemas owns three multiplex cinemas in China that consistently rank among the top 5 in each of the respective cities in which they operate.
About IMAX China
IMAX (Shanghai) Multimedia Technology Co., Ltd. (IMAX China) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of IMAX Corporation, and is formed under the laws of the People's Republic of China. IMAX China was established by IMAX Corporation specifically to oversee the expansion of IMAX's business throughout Greater China (People's Republic of China including Taiwan and the Special Administrative Regions of Hong Kong and Macau).
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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