Sunday, May 26, 2024

IMAX Signs Upgrade Deal with China’s Wanda for 20 Theatres

Wanda Film Co., Ltd. and IMAX China have expanded their longstanding partnership with a 20-theatre agreement. Under the deal, Wanda will upgrade to cutting-edge IMAX with Laser technology at ten of its top-grossing IMAX locations and install ten IMAX systems at new locations throughout the country. The agreement underscores the value of The IMAX Experience to the impending reopening and long-term future of the Chinese exhibition industry.

“Through the past few years, Wanda Film has been continuing to introduce and promote high-quality projection technology in the market. We are committed to presenting the ultimate movie experience for moviegoers,” Liu Xiaobin, Executive President of Wanda Film, said, “IMAX will be critical in welcoming audiences back to theaters and offering the best possible cinematic experience well into future, as we continue to grow our long, successful partnership.”

“IMAX is proud to be part of the premium offering that has made Wanda one of the most successful and beloved cinemas across China,” said IMAX China CEO Edwin Tan. “With this agreement, Wanda Film is further cementing its confidence in IMAX as the flagship offering for its top locations and a key partner as it prepares to reopen its vast network of theatres throughout China.” Under the agreement, ten top-grossing Wanda IMAX theatres in 1st and 2nd tier cities — including Beijing CBD Wanda IMAX and Shanghai Wujiaochang Wanda IMAX — will be upgraded to IMAX with Laser, IMAX’s most advanced theatre experience. These theatres will shift from a sale to recurring revenue-sharing model, allowing for optimized financial performance.

Wanda and IMAX’s partnership dates back more than a decade with several major, multi-theatre deals over the last several years. With this agreement, a total of 378 IMAX screens in China will now be in Wanda theatres across all tiered cities. In 2019, the box office of Wanda Cinemas was RMB 9.866 billion, and the core indicators such as box office, attendance and market share ranked No.1 in China for 11 consecutive years. In 2019, IMAX broke several records in China, including Chinese New Year box office, record local language box office and an all-time high full year box office of $365.8 million in Greater China. This agreement further demonstrates the importance of The IMAX Experience and brand to the nation’s largest exhibitor and expands IMAX’s footprint to 985 screens in China overall (including backlogs).


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