IMAX to ex­pand China the­aters by 70% to 360

China Daily (USA) - - FRONT PAGE - By ZHAO YANRONG in Bei­jing zhaoy­an­rong@chi­nadaily.com.cn

IMAX Cor­po­ra­tion and IMAX China Hold­ing Inc an­nounced the largest ever deal for IMAX the­aters on Tues­day. Un­der its terms, the com­pany is set to build an ad­di­tional 150 IMAX the­aters with Wanda Cinema Line Co Ltd in the next six years.

The deal is ex­pected to ex­pand Wanda Cinema’s foot­print of IMAX the­aters by more than 70 per­cent, from 160 to 360, with the ma­jor­ity open­ing over the next three years and the full roll­out to be con­cluded by 2022.

“This is a land­mark devel­op­ment in IMAX’s his­tory and a strate­gic linch­pin in our growth strat­egy, par­tic­u­larly as we’ve seen over time that sign­ings lead to higher box of­fice and ul­ti­mately more rev­enue,” said Richard L. Gel­fond, CEO of IMAX.

“It not only strength­ens our mar­ket-lead­ing po­si­tion in China, the world’s fastest-grow­ing film mar­ket, but also re­in­forces our strong work­ing re­la­tion­ship with Wanda Cinema, one of our most im­por­tant busi­ness part­ners, and speaks of the value Wanda Cinema places on the IMAX busi­ness,” he added.

In the first half of 2016, IMAX China re­ported rev­enue of $55.1 mil­lion in China, up from $43.9 mil­lion in the same pe­riod of the last year. Gross profit was $33.9 mil­lion, or 62 per­cent of rev­enue. Net profit for the pe­riod in­creased to $17.7 mil­lion.

With the deal, IMAX’s to­tal num­ber of theater sign­ings has reached 284 so far this year, in­clud­ing 229 in China, eclips­ing the com­pany’s pre­vi­ous an­nual global record of 277. China gen­er­ates about a third of IMAX’s global box-of­fice sales.

Re­gard­less of the slow­down in China’s eco­nomic growth, IMAX still sees fast growth in the Chi­nese mar­ket.

CFP

Movie­go­ers buy tick­ets at the ticket of­fice of an IMAX theater in Wuhan, Hubei prov­ince.

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