|IMAX Signs International Joint Venture Deal with One of Japan's Largest Exhibitors|
Tokyu Recreation's 109 Cinemas Enters IMAX Business with Up to Four Joint Venture Locations in Japan IMAX(R) Digital Continues to Drive IMAX's Joint Venture Business
TORONTO, July 17 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ - IMAX Corporation (NASDAQ:IMAX; TSX:IMX) and Tokyu Recreation, the owner of 109 Cinemas (10 is "To" and 9 is "kyu"), one of Japan's largest exhibition chains, today announced a joint venture agreement to install up to four IMAX(R) theatres in Japan. The agreement marks IMAX's second international joint venture deal, as the Company aligns itself with top exhibitors worldwide with its new IMAX(R) Digital theatre system. To date, IMAX has signed contracts for more than 180 IMAX Digital theatre systems, with approximately 50 expected to be installed by the end of 2008.
The announcement follows a record-setting movie event in Japan, where 25,000 people, the largest IMAX audience ever for a single screening, enjoyed the Japanese premiere of Speed Racer: The IMAX Experience on June 29 at the Tokyo Dome. The Tokyo Dome, which is a traditional venue for concerts and sporting events, was converted into a huge IMAX theatre for the event.
Under the terms of the joint venture agreement, IMAX and Tokyu Recreation will share the cost and profitability of the new theatres. The first theatre is scheduled to be installed at the 109 Cinemas Kawasaki in the city of Kawasaki in November of this year, followed by another in early 2009 at the 109 Cinemas Shobu in the city of Shobu. Each theatre will be equipped with IMAX's new digital projection system. The third and fourth systems are subject to mutual agreement on sites, projected rates of return and certain other factors.
"IMAX's new digital theatre system offers us the best of both worlds - we can deliver an immersive cinematic experience that cannot be replicated at home or in a conventional theatre, and we can enjoy the economical and logistical benefits of a digital theatre system," said Hitoshi Sato, President of Tokyu Recreation. "Over the past four decades, people in Japan have recognized the IMAX brand as being synonymous with the world's most immersive cinematic experience, and we are excited to become a part of that prestigious recognition, as our locations transform into destinations for consumers who want to see Hollywood's biggest movies in the most powerful format."
"Exhibitor response to our IMAX Digital system has been extremely positive in North America and now we're starting to see increasing enthusiasm internationally," said IMAX's Co-Chairmen and Co-CEOs, Richard L. Gelfond and Bradley J. Wechsler. "Japan is an important market for IMAX, and we believe this partnership, combined with our new digital theatre system, will serve as a catalyst for further expansion into additional international commercial markets."
The highly anticipated IMAX Digital projection delivers The IMAX Experience(R) 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. IMAX Digital theatres will be capable of presenting Hollywood movies that have been digitally re-mastered into the unparalleled image and sound quality of The IMAX Experience with IMAX DMR(R) technology in both IMAX and IMAX(R) 3D, as well as original IMAX 3D documentary-style movies that are entertaining and educational.
The current IMAX film slate for the remainder of 2008, 2009 and 2010 includes:
The Dark Knight - Warner Bros. Pictures - July 18, 2008 Madagascar 2: Escape 2 Africa - DreamWorks Animation - November 7, 2008 Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince - Warner Bros. Pictures - November 21, 2008 Under the Sea 3D - Warner Bros. Pictures - February, 2009 Monsters vs. Aliens 3D - DreamWorks Animation - March, 2009 Hubble 3D (working title) - Warner Bros. Pictures - February, 2010 How to Train Your Dragon 3D - DreamWorks Animation - March, 2010 Shrek Goes Fourth 3D - DreamWorks Animation - May, 2010 About Tokyu Recreation 109 Cinemas
Tokyu Recreation Co., Ltd. belongs to the Tokyu Group which is one of the biggest enterprise groups. The main company of the group is Tokyu Corporation. Tokyu Recreation is responsible for the entertainment business which plays an important role in the group. Tokyu Recreation has more than 60-year experience as an exhibitor and operates 15 cinema complexes such as "109 Cinemas" chain as well as 9 first-run movie theatres in Japan. Besides the theatre business as a core, it has two other businesses: Sports and Leisure Business to operate bowling alleys and futsal facilities and Real-Estate Leasing Business such as master-leasing of real estate. In regard to the theatre business, it keeps opening new cinema complexes actively in major cities and areas in Japan.
About IMAX Corporation
IMAX Corporation is one of the world's leading digital entertainment and technology companies. The worldwide IMAX network is among the most important and successful theatrical distribution platforms for major event Hollywood films around the globe, with IMAX theatres delivering the world's best cinematic presentations using proprietary IMAX, IMAX 3D, and IMAX DMR technology. IMAX DMR is the Company's groundbreaking digital remastering technology that allows it to digitally transform virtually any conventional motion picture into the unparalleled image and sound quality of The IMAX Experience. IMAX's renowned projectors and new digital systems display crystal-clear images on the world's biggest screens. The IMAX brand is recognized throughout the world for extraordinary and immersive entertainment experiences for consumers. As of March 31, 2008, there were 298 IMAX theatres operating in 40 countries.
IMAX(R), IMAX(R) 3D, IMAX DMR(R), IMAX MPX(R), and The IMAX Experience(R) are trademarks of IMAX Corporation. More information on the Company can be found at www.imax.com.
This press release contains forward-looking statements that are based on management's assumptions and existing information and involve certain risks and uncertainties which could cause actual results to differ materially from future results expressed or by such forward-looking statements. Important factors that could affect these statements include ongoing discussions with the SEC and OSC relating to their ongoing inquiries and the Company's accounting, the timing of theatre system deliveries, the mix of theatre systems shipped, the timing of the recognition of revenues and expenses on film production and distribution agreements, the performance of films, the viability of new businesses and products, risks arising from potential material weaknesses in internal control over financial reporting and fluctuations in foreign currency and in the large format and general commercial exhibition market. These factors and other risks and uncertainties are discussed in the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2007, as well as the Company's Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q.
SOURCE IMAX Corporation -0- 07/17/2008 /CONTACT: Media: IMAX Corporation, New York, Sarah Gormley, (212) 821-0155, email@example.com; Entertainment Media: Newman & Company, Los Angeles, Al Newman, (310) 278-1560, firstname.lastname@example.org; Investors: IMAX Corporation - New York, Heather Anthony, (212) 821-0121, email@example.com; Business Media: Sloane & Company, New York, Whit Clay, (212) 446-1864, firstname.lastname@example.org/ (IMAX IMX.) CO: IMAX Corporation ST: Ontario IN: ENT FLM SU: JVN PR -- TO461 -- 4928 07/17/2008 03:00 EDT http://www.prnewswire.com