IMAX China Signs 30-Theatre Deal With Distribution Firm Bona Film Group
IMAX Corp's subsidiary company IMAX China Holding on Monday signed a 30-theater deal with Chinese film studio and distributor Bona Film Group, making the distribution company one of IMAX'S top five exhibitor partners in China.
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According to the deal, IMAX and Bona will open five theatres each year until 2022, taking the total tally to 35 theatres that will open mostly in new complexes.
"As one of the most influential film studios in China and a growing force in the nation's exhibition market, todayes's substantial sales agreement with Bona Film Group underscores the confidence China's leading industry players have in IMAX to deliver long-term strategic value," said IMAX CEO Richard L. Gelfond.
This is not the first deal that these two companies have signed. Both companies collaborated for the first time in 2011 to release the martial arts epic "Flying Swords of Dragon Gate." Bona also signed an agreement with IMAX in 2012 and 2014 for screen sharing.
Yu Dong, founder and chairman of Bona Film Group, noted that today's result is a direct culmination of the outstanding success that their partnership has witnessed over the years. By Yu's own estimation, Bona has around 41 IMAX theatres and 336 screens in the Chinese market.
Monday's deal clearly shows that IMAX will continue to pursue expansion in China despite having a tough year at the Chinese box office in 2016. The Canadian firm announced last week that its yearly profit in 2016 declined by 13 percent, citing poor box office collections. As part of its expansion, IMAX almost doubled its commercial screens across China last year, taking the number from 290 screens in 2015 to 407 screens in 2016.