China's Bona Film Group Signs 30-Theater Imax Deal

Taylor Hill/FilmMagic

The agreement gets the Chinese film company, led by CEO Yu Dong, to 35 giant screens in all set to open by 2022.

Imax and subsidiary Imax China Holding Inc. have raised their profile in China yet again after signing a 30-theater deal with Chinese film studio and distributor Bona Film Group.

The deal with Bona follows the Chinese exhibitor earlier opening its first Imax theater in Tianjin in 2012 and then getting to five theaters with a second deal in 2014.

The latest 30-theater deal calls for even more giant screens to be located in new complexes throughout China, with Bona and Imax opening five theaters each year through 2022. The deal, getting Bona to 35 theaters in all, numbers the Chinese exhibitor among Imax's top five partners in China.

"As one of the most influential film studios in China and a growing force in the nation's exhibition market, today'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 Gelfond said Sunday in a statement

On the film side, Bona and Imax earlier pacted on the release of the 2011 martial arts epic Flying Swords of Dragon Gate, as the Canadian-based exhibitor got into the Chinese-language film business.

The two partners also released in 2014 another local language title, White Haired Witch of the Lunar Kingdom, on Imax screens.

"Today's agreement is a direct result of the tremendous success of our existing Imax theaters and Imax film releases," Yu Dong, founder and chairman of Bona Film Group, which currently has around 41 theaters with 336 screens in the Chinese market, said in his own statement.