IMAX, Wanda and AMC Theatres expand partnership
IMAX Corporation and Wanda Cinema Line Corporation, Asia’s largest cinema owner, announced an amendment to their original 2011 joint-revenue share agreement with the addition of a minimum of 40 and up to 120 new IMAX theatres to be located throughout China.
The deal also extends Wanda’s lease terms for all new theatres to 12 years from 10 years and brings Wanda’s total IMAX commitment in China to up to 210 theatres, positioning Wanda Cinema Line as IMAX’s largest international exhibition partner.
In addition, IMAX and AMC Theatres, a wholly owned subsidiary of Wanda Group, signed an agreement to extend AMC’s lease terms for all new and existing theatres to 13 years from 10 years and install a minimum of five and up to 10 new IMAX theatres in the U.S. The agreement brings AMC’s total IMAX commitment to up to 152 theatres, making them the largest IMAX exhibition partner in North America.
“We have developed great partnerships with Wanda and AMC during the last decade and we’re excited that the combination of two of our strongest partners has allowed us to advance our relationships to the next level,” said IMAX CEO Richard L. Gelfond. “The Wanda and AMC IMAX network continues to flourish and today’s agreement underscores their ongoing confidence in IMAX to strengthen their businesses by delivering to audiences the industry’s best cinematic experience.”
Wanda Cinema Line was one of IMAX’s first exhibition partners in China, opening a theatre in Dongguan in 2007. Building on the success of its existing IMAX theatres, the parties signed a 75-theatre joint-venture agreement in 2011 that represented IMAX’s first full revenue-sharing deal in China. In 2012, Wanda Group acquired AMC Theatres, IMAX’s first and largest North American commercial exhibition partner, creating the world’s largest cinema owner as well as the largest operator of IMAX theatres.
“Our IMAX theatres have been showing strong performance while Wanda Cinema Line is constantly developing. We’re delighted to build on our successful partnership that continues to differentiate our cineplex by offering a premium entertainment experience,” said Jerry Ye, VP of Wanda Cultural Group, a subsidiary of Wanda Group.
“Week after week, AMC guests are choosing to see their Hollywood blockbusters in an IMAX auditorium,” said Gerry Lopez, CEO and president of AMC. “As AMC continues to deliver the premier experience in moviegoing, expanding our partnership with IMAX fits in perfectly with our strategy to provide the best options to even more of our guests.”
Under the terms of the agreement with Wanda Cinema Line, 80 of the potential 120 IMAX theatres are predicated on the successful development of IMAX's next-generation laser projection system. Upon Wanda Cinema Line’s commitment to the 80 additional IMAX theatres, the lease terms for all Wanda IMAX theatres—including their existing theatres—will convert to 12 years. In addition, they may elect to install IMAX’s laser projection in a portion of all Wanda IMAX theatres, making them the first exhibitor to bring IMAX’s laser technology to Asia.
With the new agreement, there are now up to 381 IMAX theatres open or contracted to open in China.