IMAX Corporation (NYSE: IMAX) and Wanda Film, China’s largest exhibitor, today announced a nine-theatre deal spanning key Chinese markets. Under the agreement, six new IMAX systems will be installed in newly built multiplexes across top Chinese markets. Additionally, Wanda will relocate and upgrade three of its existing IMAX systems to forthcoming new multiplexes.
The agreement marks an expansion of IMAX and Wanda’s longstanding, successful partnership, and a sign of renewed momentum in the Chinese market; it is IMAX’s first agreement for more than five new theatres in China since February 2021.
“Wanda Film is among our biggest and most dynamic partners in the world, and this agreement further enhances the value of our longstanding relationship with a strong slate of local language and Hollywood releases ahead,” said Rich Gelfond, CEO of IMAX. “This expansion of our biggest partnership in China is a great sign that this critical theatrical market is recovering and ready to reclaim its position as a global box office powerhouse.”
Under the agreement, new IMAX theatres will open in newly built Wanda Cinemas multiplexes in top tier cities including Shanghai, Shenzhen, and Guangzhou, among others. Wanda and IMAX’s partnership dates back more than a decade and spans several major, multi-theatre deals.
Wanda boasts the most IMAX locations in China, with 371 IMAX theatres in operation and another 23 in backlog. IMAX also enjoys a longstanding partnership with Wanda Pictures — the company’s production, and distribution arm — on blockbuster releases including the record-breaking 2021 Filmed for IMAX title “Detective Chinatown 3.”