NEW YORK -- IMAX Corporation (NYSE:IMAX) (TSX:IMX) and Southern Theatres, LLC today announced a four-theatre joint revenue sharing agreement to install and operate digital IMAX(R) theatre systems in four locations in Panama City Beach, FL; Slidell, LA; Winston-Salem, NC; and Macon, GA. The announcement marks the first time IMAX has entered into a joint revenue sharing arrangement with a regional exhibitor. The theatres are expected to open in July of 2011.
The Company's recent spate of theatre signings is partially attributable to increased interest in the IMAX brand from small-market domestic exhibitors, who are increasingly able to enter into the IMAX business as a result of the more favorable economics of IMAX's digital projection system, increased consumer interest in The IMAX Experience(R) and the expanding IMAX film slate.
"There is significant positive buzz surrounding the IMAX brand among consumers as well as exhibitors, and for good reason," said George Solomon CEO of Southern Theatres, LLC. "More movies are being released in IMAX's format than ever before, and IMAX theatres deliver a differentiated experience that resonates with audiences, regardless of whether the presentation is 2D or 3D. This partnership represents a whole new way for Southern Theatres patrons to experience movies."
"We're seeing very strong performances from our locations in small to mid-sized domestic markets, proving that with the right partners, there is opportunity for expansion and success in this relatively new market segment for our Company," said IMAX's Chief Executive Officer, Richard L. Gelfond. "Through partnerships with exhibitors such as Southern Theatres, who understand the value of delivering top-quality presentations, we will be able to offer The IMAX Experience to more people in places that previously lacked easy access to an IMAX theatre."
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(R) 3D presentations.
The Company's 2011 film slate from April through December includes:
-- Born to be Wild 3D
-- Fast Five: The IMAX Experience
-- Thor: An IMAX 3D Experience
-- Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides: An IMAX 3D Experience
-- Super 8: The IMAX Experience
-- Cars 2: An IMAX 3D Experience
-- Transformers: Dark of the Moon: An IMAX 3D Experience
-- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II: An IMAX 3D Experience
-- Real Steel: The IMAX Experience
-- Contagion: The IMAX Experience
-- Puss in Boots: An IMAX 3D Experience
-- Happy Feet 2: An IMAX 3D Experience
-- Mission: Impossible -- Ghost Protocol: The IMAX Experience
-- The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn: An IMAX 3D