Prototype Theatres to be Deployed Q2 2008
Digital System to Set New Standards of Excellence in Cinematic
Presentation and Further Distinguish The IMAX Experience(R)
Leading Exhibitors Already On-Board for Digital Installations
TORONTO, Oct. 17 /CNW/ - IMAX Corporation (NASDAQ: IMAX; TSX:IMX) today
announced that it has moved up the launch date of its digital projection
system in development to the second quarter of 2008 from its previously
announced timeframe of the end of 2008 to mid 2009. The highly anticipated
IMAX(R) digital projection system will further enhance The IMAX Experience(R)
and help to drive profitability for studios, exhibitors and IMAX(R) theatres
by virtually eliminating the need for film prints, increasing program
flexibility and ultimately increasing the number of movies shown on IMAX
Under the current roll-out schedule, the Company anticipates that three
digital IMAX prototypes will be installed during the second quarter of 2008.
Shortly thereafter, IMAX expects to install three additional prototypes. Once
these prototypes meet performance specifications, IMAX expects to proceed with
a full rollout during the second half of the third quarter and in the fourth
quarter of 2008.
"We've invested significant resources toward the development of our
digital projection technology and we are excited about bringing it out of
research and development and into the marketplace," said IMAX's Co-Chairmen
and Co-CEOs, Richard L. Gelfond and Bradley J. Wechsler. "Several key
exhibitors, studios and consumer research groups have already experienced the
digital prototype we've been running for the past several months, and we are
very encouraged by the unanimously positive reaction to the next iteration of
The IMAX Experience."
IMAX's Digital System to Set New Standards in Cinematic Presentation
for Consumers, Studios and Exhibitors
IMAX's digital projection system integrates a suite of proprietary IMAX
intellectual properties with commercially available digital projection
technology in a way that creates The IMAX Experience in a digital format.
These properties, along with proprietary technology applied to the content,
dramatically enhance the image fidelity, light output and contrast in both 2D
and 3D to produce a stunningly crisp and bright image on the big IMAX screen
and deliver the unparalleled image and sound quality that IMAX consumers have
come to recognize and enjoy. In consumer testing conducted by Millward Brown,
a respected market research firm, 98 percent of respondents who had seen IMAX
before/were able to make the comparison, said that the prototype IMAX digital
system fits with their expectations for the brand, and 46 percent said that
the overall experience in the digital IMAX theatre was better than previous
The new system is configured for an IMAX MPX(R)-style auditorium and is
capable of showing Hollywood movies that have been digitally re-mastered using
IMAX's proprietary DMR(R) technology in both IMAX and IMAX(R) 3D. The system
will also be capable of showing original IMAX documentaries.
Commercial Theatre Operators Endorse IMAX's Digital System
and its Business Model
IMAX has already announced several multi-theatre agreements which are to
include the new digital projection system. The Company has also indicated that
it intends to offer and sell upgrades to the new digital system to commercial
operators who have IMAX MPX systems.
In North America, IMAX signed a joint venture agreement with Regal
Cinemas for five systems, with three of the locations identified as direct to
digital installs during the fourth quarter of 2008 and second quarter of 2009.
Similarly, IMAX signed a joint venture agreement with Muvico Theaters for
three systems, with the third targeted to be a digital install in Muvico's
highly anticipated Xanadu complex in New Jersey. The Company also entered into
a second multi-theatre agreement with Goodrich Quality Theaters, following the
highly successful launch of the exhibitor's first two theatres. The new
agreement includes a digital installation in a new multiplex planned for the
fourth quarter of 2009.
Internationally, IMAX announced its largest ever multiple-theatre deal in
Asia with China's Wanda Cinema Line Corporation. The agreement includes seven
locations expected to utilize IMAX's digital projection system.
About IMAX Corporation
IMAX Corporation is one of the world's leading digital entertainment and
technology companies. The worldwide IMAX network is among the most important
and successful theatrical distribution platforms for major event Hollywood
films around the globe, with IMAX theatres delivering the world's best
cinematic presentations using proprietary IMAX, IMAX 3D, and IMAX DMR
technology. IMAX DMR is the Company's groundbreaking digital remastering
technology that allows it to digitally transform virtually any conventional
motion picture into the unparalleled image and sound quality of The IMAX
Experience. IMAX's renowned projectors and new digital systems display
crystal-clear images on the world's biggest screens. The IMAX brand is
recognized throughout the world for extraordinary and immersive entertainment
experiences for consumers. As of June 30, 2007, there were 290 IMAX theatres
operating in 40 countries.
IMAX(R), IMAX(R) 3D, IMAX DMR(R), IMAX MPX(R), and The IMAX Experience(R)
are trademarks of IMAX Corporation. More information on the Company can
be found at www.imax.com.
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 financial reporting and accounting, 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, the
performance of films, the viability of new businesses and products, risks
arising from potential material weaknesses in internal control over financial
reporting and fluctuations in foreign currency and in the large format and
general commercial exhibition market. These factors and other risks and
uncertainties are discussed in the Company's Annual Reports on Form 10-K for
the year ended December 31, 2006, as well as the Company's Quarterly Reports
on Form 10-Q.
For further information:
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