Imax Strikes Theater Deal in Turkey

5:44 AM PST 03/18/2013 by Stuart Kemp
Ethan Miller/Getty Images
Imax EMEA president Andrew Cripps

The giant-screen exhibitor reaches an agreement with exhibitor Mars Entertainment to add three Imax screens, bringing the country's total to five.

LONDON – Imax Corp., listed on the New York stock exchange, has inked a deal with Mars Entertainment Group for three Imax theaters to be installed in cities throughout Turkey.

The deal will bring the exhibitor’s Imax commitment to five in total, adding to the two theaters currently in operation in Ankara and Istanbul.

Mars Entertainment Group CEO Muzaffer Yildirim noted that the gross box-office revenues of the group's Imax theaters in Istanbul and Ankara "continuously over-perform their targets over the previous year."

Added Yildirim: "As we begin our aggressive expansion program in Turkey, Imax will serve as a key component to our growth strategy and help to strengthen our overall business in the country."

Imax CEO Richard L. Gelfond said the deal is an indication of his company's growth strategy.

"With a focus on tailoring our programming in international markets and partnering with leading international exhibitors, such as Mars Entertainment Group, we expect to set the stage for continued growth in Europe," Gelfond said.

Imax EMEA president Andrew Cripps described Turkey as being an "under-penetrated market, both from an overall cinema and Imax standpoint."

Founded in 2001, Mars Entertainment Group is Turkey’s largest movie-theater circuit, with 57 theaters with 491 screens in 22 different cities nationwide.

As of Dec. 31, 2012, there were 731 Imax theaters (598 commercial multiplexes, 19 commercial destinations and 114 institutions) in 53 countries.

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