RealD reaches agreement to double 3-D screen count in China

RealD reaches agreement to double 3-D screen count in China
RealD founders Michael Lewis and Josh Greer wearing 3-D glasses inside the theater at their Beverly Hills headquarters. (Ken Hively / Los Angeles Times)

Beverly Hills-based RealD Inc. has signed an agreement with China's Wanda Cinemas that would double RealD's screen count in one of the world's biggest film markets.

Wanda Cinemas, a subsidiary of Dalian Wanda Group, said Friday it would install 780 sets of RealD's 3-D cinema equipment over the next three years. Wanda has already installed about 800 RealD 3-D sets in its theaters.

Shares of RealD increased 41 cents, or about 3.7%, to $11.54 in midsession trading on the New York Stock Exchange

China's rapidly growing film business last year hit $3.6 billion in box-office revenue, up about 27% from 2012. The country is the world's second-biggest movie market behind the United States, according to the Motion Picture Assn. of America.

In October last year, RealD announced an agreement with Cinema Park, Russia's leading national cinema chain, to equip as many as 200 theater screens with 3-D technology.

RealD's equipment is used in 1,000 theaters in 74 countries.

Founded in 2003, RealD has expanded rapidly around the world but has been buffeted by a declining consumer interest in the 3-D format in the U.S. 

However, in February, the company reported that its total revenune hit $55.4 million for the third quater of fiscal 2014, up from $46.9 million for the same period the previous year, led by the box-office success of Alfonso Cuaron's stranded-in-space movie "Gravity."

The company posted a third-quarter loss of $271,000, compared with a loss of $4.2 million a year ago. 
In 2012 Dalian Wanda Group bought the U.S. theater chain AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc. for $2.6 billion, creating the world’s biggest cinema company.


Twitter: @rfaughnder