NEW YORK and KNOXVILLE, Tenn., Oct. 1, 2010 -- IMAX Corporation (Nasdaq:IMAX) (TSX:IMX) and Regal Entertainment Group (NYSE:RGC), today announced an expansion of the companies' joint venture agreement to include installation of an additional 16 to 25 new IMAX(R) theatres in the United States. These theatres, which are part of an amendment to the parties' original 2008 joint venture agreement, are in addition to Regal's previously committed rollout of 39 IMAX joint venture theatres, 34 of which are in currently in operation. As part of the agreement, Regal also plans to upgrade eight of its existing film-based IMAX theatres with IMAX's digital projection technology.
The companies intend to open up the new joint venture theatres by the end of 2012 in U.S. markets including such cities as Albuquerque, NM, Eugene, OR, Charlottesville, VA and Atlanta, GA. Upon completion of the full Regal IMAX theatre rollout, Regal will operate up to 77 IMAX theatres.
"It is with great pleasure that we announce the expansion of our relationship with IMAX," said Amy Miles, CEO, Regal Entertainment. "We take pride in offering our customers a unique, differentiated out-of-home entertainment experience, and we are pleased that IMAX will continue to be a key component of our premium strategy. IMAX theatres deliver an immersive presentation of unparalleled sound and image quality that command a premium price from consumers, and we look forward to bringing that premium experience to more Regal audiences across the country."
"This is an important expansion of our relationship with our long-time partner Regal that builds on the success of our existing joint venture theatres," said Richard L. Gelfond, CEO, IMAX Corporation. "Our operating history together has shown that the combination of IMAX and Regal creates premium movie going experiences that Regal movie-goers crave, and as result, yields substantial returns on investment to our joint venture. This agreement represents a potential 64% increase in our existing JV theatre commitment with Regal, paving the way for more consumers to have The IMAX Experience(R) in new domestic markets."
With today's announcement, IMAX has announced at least 198 theatre systems signings year-to-date, which compares to 35 system signings in all of 2009 and represents a new record for the most signings in a single year.
Included among the terms of the amended agreement is an increase in the length of the joint venture arrangement for all Regal IMAX theatres -- to 10 years from the previous term of seven years. The deal also includes an adjusted allocation of costs to help defray Regal's operating expenses for all of its new and existing joint venture IMAX theatres.