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Under the agreement, six new Imax screens will be installed in newly built multiplexes across top Chinese markets, including Shanghai, Shenzhen and Guangzhou. Additionally, Wanda will relocate and upgrade three of its existing Imax systems to planned new multiplexes.
Imax touted the nine-theater deal, though smaller than earlier multi-system agreements with Wanda, as evidence of renewed momentum in the Chinese exhibition market amid new COVID cases in that country. “This expansion of our biggest partnership in China is a great sign that this critical theatrical market is recovering and ready to reclaim its position as a global box office powerhouse,” Imax CEO Richard Gelfond stated.
In 2007, Imax opened its first big screen in partnership with Wanda in Dongguan Province. Today, Wanda’s footprint is 371 Imax theaters in China. That’s a big slice of the 773 Imax theaters in China currently.
China generally accounts for a third of Imax’s overall box office revenues, though that tally fell to around 25 percent during the first half of 2022 due to COVID lockdowns in that Asian market and the relative strength of rest-of-the-world box office receipts.
Imax also has a longstanding partnership with Wanda Pictures on blockbuster releases, including the 2021 box office performer Detective Chinatown 3.
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