Imax expands partnership with Wanda and AMC

Imax expands partnership with Wanda and AMC
From left to right: Wang Yunan, assistant to the president and general manager of the Law Department of Dalian Wanda Group Co. Ltd.; Ye Ning, assistant to the president of Dalian Wanda Group Co. Ltd. and general manager of Wanda Cinemas; Li Yaohan, senior vice president of Dalian Wanda Group Co. Ltd. and president of Wanda Cinemas; Wang Jianlin, chairman of Dalian Wanda Group Co. Ltd.; Mao Yu, deputy director of the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television (SARFT); Richard Gelfond, chief executive officer of Imax Corp.; Don Savant, senior vice president and managing director of Imax Corp., Asia Pacific; Greg Foster, chairman and president of Filmed Entertainment, Imax Corp.; Jessie Chow, vice president of Theatre Operations of Imax Corp., Asia Pacific attend a news conference in Beijing, China, on Thursday, March 24, 2011. (Stefen Chow / Bloomberg)

Imax Corp., the Canadian big screen movie theater operator, has expanded its partnership with Wanda Cinema Line Corporation, Asia’s largest cinema owner.

Under a deal announced Wednesday, Imax will open up 120 new Imax theaters in China. The agreement also extends Wanda's lease terms for all new theaters to 12 years from 10 years and brings Wanda's total Imax commitment in China to up to 210 theaters, positioning Wanda Cinema Line as Imax's largest international exhibition partner.

"Our Imax theaters have been showing strong performance while Wanda Cinema Line is constantly developing," said Jerry Ye, vice president of Wanda Cultural Group, a subsidiary of Wanda Group. "We're delighted to build on our successful partnership that continues to differentiate our cineplex by offering a premium entertainment experience."

The companies also announced they were expanding their ties in the U.S. as well. Imax and AMC Theatres, a subsidiary of Wanda Group, signed an agreement to extend AMC's lease terms for all new and existing theaters to 13 years from 10 years and install up to 10 new Imax theaters in the U.S.

"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 Chief Executive Richard L. Gelfond. 

Wanda Cinema Line was one of IMAX’s first exhibition partners in China, opening a theater in Dongguan in 2007. The parties signed a 75-theater 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.

"Week after week, AMC guests are choosing to see their Hollywood blockbusters in an Imax auditorium," said Gerry Lopez, CEO and president of AMC.