Europe's Largest Exhibitor Adds Four IMAX® Theatres Following Success of Existing IMAX Locations
and Growth of IMAX Film Slate
ODEON Becomes Largest Operator of IMAX Theatres in Western Europe;
Eleven to be Open by Year-End
NEW YORK, Sept. 13, 2010 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- IMAX Corporation (Nasdaq:IMAX) (TSX:IMX) and ODEON & UCI Cinemas Group, Europe's largest exhibitor, today announced an agreement to install four IMAX digital theatre systems in the United Kingdom, with each of them expected to open for the IMAX release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 on November 19th. The deal brings the total number of IMAX® theatres operated by ODEON to eleven. Under the terms of the agreement, IMAX's digital projection system will be installed in ODEON locations in Glasgow, Norwich, Kingston and Uxbridge. The deal was signed amid the growing success and popularity of ODEON's other IMAX locations in Manchester, Wimbledon, Greenwich, Gateshead, Cardiff, Liverpool and Southampton. The three IMAX ODEON theatres open since January – Greenwich, Manchester and Wimbledon – have generated a per screen average of more than $1.5 million in box office year-to-date.
ODEON is the largest operator of IMAX theatres in the United Kingdom, and with this deal, becomes the largest operator of IMAX theatres in Western Europe. IMAX's announced number of theatre system signings year-to-date has increased to 134 worldwide, which compares to 35 system signings in all of 2009.
"The incremental boost in performance that we receive by adding an IMAX theatre to our existing complexes helps to drive our bottom line and our overall box office, but most importantly, it gives ODEON customers the premium cinema experience they are demanding more than ever before," said Rupert Gavin, CEO of ODEON & UCI Cinemas Group. "We're very excited about expanding the number of ODEON IMAX locations. With the ability to retrofit our auditoria quickly, we're able to capitalize on IMAX's strong film slate, starting with the next Harry Potter film."
"Our new agreement with ODEON & UCI Cinemas Group, Europe's largest exhibitor and one of the world's most recognized cinema brands, continues a pattern of expanding existing relationships based on IMAX box office results," said IMAX CEO, Richard L. Gelfond. "ODEON has led the way in establishing the IMAX network in Western Europe, and we're confident that their increasing interest in the IMAX business will result in more awe-inspiring entertainment experiences for moviegoers in one of our most important markets."
"This latest deal reflects ODEON's response to consumer demand for The IMAX Experience® in the UK. As we have expanded our relationship with ODEON throughout the UK, they have experienced box office and market share growth as well as tremendously positive feedback from consumers about The IMAX Experience," added Larry T. O'Reilly, IMAX's Executive Vice President, Theatre Development. "We look forward to exploring additional locations with ODEON in the future."
IMAX's digital projection system delivers The IMAX Experience and helps drive profitability for studios, exhibitors and IMAX theatres by eliminating the need for film prints, increasing program flexibility and ultimately increasing the number of movies shown on IMAX screens. The system can run both IMAX and IMAX® 3D presentations.
About ODEON & UCI Cinemas Group
With over 75 years experience, ODEON & UCI Cinemas Group is the largest exhibitor in Europe. The Group is the leading exhibitor in the UK, Spain and Italy, second largest in Ireland and third largest in Germany, Austria and Portugal. It operates 1802 screens at 202 sites across Europe.
About IMAX Corporation
IMAX Corporation is one of the world's leading entertainment technology companies, specializing in immersive motion picture technologies. 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 re-mastering technology that allows it to digitally transform virtually any conventional motion picture into the unparalleled image and sound quality of The IMAX Experience. The IMAX brand is recognized throughout the world for extraordinary and immersive entertainment experiences for consumers. As of June 30, 2010, there were 447 IMAX theatres (325 commercial, 122 institutional) operating in 47 countries.
IMAX®, IMAX® 3D, IMAX DMR®, Experience It In IMAX®, An IMAX 3D Experience® and The IMAX Experience® are trademarks of IMAX Corporation. More information about the Company can be found at www.imax.com. You may also connect with IMAX on Facebook ( www.facebook.com/imax ), Twitter (www.twitter.com/imax) and YouTube ( www.youtube.com/imaxmovies ).
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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, but are not limited to, general economic, market or business conditions, including the length and severity of the current economic downturn, the opportunities that may be presented to and pursued by the Company, the performance of IMAX DMR films, conditions in the in-home and out-of home entertainment industries, the signing of theatre system agreements, changes and developments in the commercial exhibition industry, the failure to convert theatre system backlog into revenue, investments and operations in foreign jurisdictions, foreign currency fluctuations and the Company's prior restatements and the related litigation and ongoing inquiries by the SEC and the OSC. These factors and other risks and uncertainties are discussed in the Company's most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and most recent Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q.
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