Stellar Cinemas and IMAX Expand Relationship With Revenue Share Deal for up to Seven Theatres Across China

    Expansion follows Success of Stellar's Existing IMAX Locations


BEIJING, Nov. 8, 2011 /CNW/ -- IMAX Corporation (NYSE: IMAX; TSX: IMX) and SMI Corporation Limited, a leading Chinese entertainment and media company that operates theatres under the name Stellar Cinemas, today announced an agreement to install up to seven new digital IMAX® theatre systems between IMAX Corporation's wholly-owned subsidiary, IMAX China, and SMI International Cinema Ltd.


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Under the terms of the agreement, Stellar will add four new revenue share locations across China with an option to increase that number to seven. The first theatre system is scheduled to be installed in an existing multiplex in the Beijing Jin Yuan Time Shopping Plaza in Beijing, in Spring 2012. The remaining three systems will go into new construction projects, expected to open in Nanjing, Chongqing, and Fuzhou in the second half of 2013.

"The success of our first IMAX theatre in Shanghai has shown us that audiences in China want to see movies in the best possible way, and that means IMAX," said Mr. Qin Hong, Executive Chairman of the Board, Chief Executive Officer of SMI Corporation Limited. "We look forward to offering this superior format to more of our customers with these four new theatres and are actively seeking an additional three locations."

Today's announcement brings Stellar's IMAX commitment from three to between seven and ten theatres. With 33 locations and 208 screens, Stellar is the third-largest non state-owned exhibitor in China. IMAX will anchor Stellar's flagship locations throughout China.

"We are pleased to build on our existing partnership with Stellar and these latest network additions reinforce our commitment to bringing IMAX to even more moviegoers in our fastest-growing market," said Richard L. Gelfond, CEO, IMAX. "In fact, today's agreement represents an important milestone for the company as it brings the total number of IMAX theatres under contract in China to 200."

"As one of the leading media companies in China, Stellar is a strategic partner for IMAX in China," added Jiande Chen CEO, IMAX China. "In addition to their exhibition assets, the company is also heavily involved in film production and distribution which makes them an excellent partner to help us meet the growing demand among Chinese moviegoers for more local films to be presented in the IMAX format."

Commenting on the agreement, Don Savant, IMAX's Senior Vice President and Managing Director, Asia Pacific added, "It's exciting to see Stellar build on the success of their existing IMAX footprint by adding more locations including an IMAX installation at the Beijing Jin Yuan Time Shopping Plaza - the company's top performing multiplex. We continue to see a growing confidence among leading Chinese exhibitors in the value that IMAX delivers to their patrons and to their business."

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.

IMAX (Shanghai) Multimedia Technology Co., Ltd. ("IMAX China") is a wholly-owned subsidiary of IMAX Corporation in the P.R.C. SMI International Cinema Ltd. (SMI Corporation and its Stellar Cinemas-operating subsidiaries, collectively "Stellar") is a wholly-owned subsidiary of SMI Corporation Limited.


    About Stellar

SMI Corporation Limited is a leading Chinese entertainment and media company that is committed to breaking new ground in the Chinese film industry. Stellar operates a fully-integrated production chain that ranges from studio and soundstage facilities, to film distribution and exhibition. On the exhibition side of the business, Stellar operates a network of 33 cinemas in major cities such as Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Tianjin, Chongqing, Chengdu, Shenyang and Lanzhou. With its broad range of film businesses, Stellar is uniquely positioned in the burgeoning Chinese film and exhibition industry. Double digit growth per year and a galloping capital market offers a prime environment for Stellar to grow exponentially, bringing together historic opportunities, horizontal development and broad participation in the Company's ongoing push to bringing domestic and global audiences the very best in entertainment.


    About IMAX China

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.


    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 You may also connect with IMAX on Facebook (, Twitter ( and YouTube (

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.



    For additional information please contact:

    Business Media:                      Investors:
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    IMAX Corporation - New York          IMAX Corporation - New York
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    Adam Davis                           Heather Anthony
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    212-821-0116                         212-821-0121
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    Sloane & Company - New York          Entertainment Media:
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                                          Principal Communications Group - Los
    Whit Clay                             Angeles
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    212-446-1864                         Melissa Zuckerman/Paul Pflug
    ------------                         ----------------------------                   323-658-1555
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