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Thursday, July 18, 2024

Japan’s AEON Entertainment Deploys ‘IMAX with Laser’ Systems

Japan’s AEON Entertainment and IMAX Corporation have announced plans to expand their partnership with an agreement for two new, state-of-the-art IMAX with Laser systems. Both new systems will be located at prime retail complexes in thriving suburbs of major Japanese cities, including the AEON Cinema Ichikawa Myoden outside Tokyo and AEON Cinema Shijonawate near Osaka.

The deal marks a significant step forward for IMAX and AEON — one of the major exhibitors in Japan — at a time when IMAX is driving growth in the market across its network, box office, and local filmmaking partnerships. IMAX has tripled its network in Japan over the last ten years, from just 13 screens in 2011 to 39 today. Worth more than USD$46 million, Japan was IMAX’s third highest grossing global market in 2021, with eight of the Company’s top 15 highest grossing theaters. Furthermore, Japan is the only IMAX market with more than ten theaters to have an overall per screen average of more than $1 million in 2021.

“We are excited that our expanded partnership with IMAX — an innovative technology for groundbreaking cinematic experiences — will drive even more value for our theatres,” said Mr. Yasuhiro Asada, President and Representative Director, AEON ENTERTAINMENT Co., Ltd. “We will continue to enhance our state-of-the-art facilities and services as part of our mission to deliver a variety of exciting experiences to our customers.”

“From its growing global blockbuster portfolio to outsized box office returns, Japan is a thriving market for cinema with some of the most passionate IMAX fans in the world,” said Rich Gelfond, CEO of IMAX. “We are excited to expand our partnership with AEON, one of the world’s premier exhibitors, and continue to grow IMAX as a premier destination for entertainment and events in Japan and around the globe.”

IMAX says its momentum in Japan has been driven in large part by its local film strategy, with IMAX earning a record $32.6 million in global box office with Japanese language releases in 2021 — up from $2.5 million in 2017. Japanese anime has emerged as a particularly strong growth area for IMAX, from the recent “Jujutsu Kaisen 0” to 2020’s “Demon Slayer”, the highest grossing IMAX film of all time in Japan. Upcoming Japanese titles releasing in IMAX include Toho’s “Detective Conan: The Bride of Halloween” on April 15 and “Shin-Ultraman” on May 13, and Toei’s “Dragon Ball Super: Super hero”.

IMAX with Laser is a 4k laser projection system that features a new optical engine, custom designed lenses, and a suite of proprietary technology that IMAX says delivers brighter images with increase resolution, deeper contrast, and the widest range of colours.


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