As well as signing contract this year (to date) for 293 new IMAX theatres (and including 162 new theatres in Q3), IMAX CEO Richard Gelfond told analysts Oct 20 that Imax had executed a number of agreements with partners in Western Europe such as Kinépolis, in Belgium, Cinemark in Denmark, UCI in Italy, and just a couple weeks ago announced a five theatre deal with Pathé, which is their second deal with IMAX this year, and the largest agreement in France in IMAX’s history.
Gelfond said: “I was in Europe last week where I met with senior management of several exhibitors and I was very encouraged by IMAX’s position in that market. Overall, I think there is a robust opportunity for us in Europe. Recent consolidation, such as AMC’s acquisition of Odeon and UCI, could lead to more activity in that market.”
IMAX now have a 547 theatre-backlog drawn from 46 countries, and says its total number of theatres will grow to some 1600 screens over the next few years, about double the number today. It is installing screens at the rate of 155-160 a year.
Gelfon said that the business was continuing to make progress in Asia. “In addition to China, countries such as Japan are very attractive, given the overall opportunity in that market and the success of our partnership with Toho, which follows our success with many other exhibitors, including Tokyo.”
“Another market that I’m excited about is the Middle East, with its relative under penetration of IMAX screens, strong PSAs and growing interest of exhibitors. As a matter of fact, the number one IMAX theater in the world for solely Magnificent Seven and Deepwater Horizon with the Mall of Emirates, in Dubai which recently installed our laser projection system.”