Imax extends Philippines theatre deal

SM Prime Holdings to install systems in retail complexes

TORONTO -- Philippines' largest mall operator has acquired five more super-sized digital screens from Imax.

News of the latest Asian theatre signings comes as Imax looks to shore up a sliding stock price ahead of its latest financial results due out July 29.

SM Prime Holdings is to install the Imax projection systems by 2012 at retail complexes in Las Piantildeas City, Fort Bonifacio, Davao City, Angeles City as well as a second theatre in Manila.

The mall operator already has an Imax digital theatre at the SM Mall of Asia in Manila as the anchor attraction, another in Quezon and a third theatre to open this month in the city of Cebu.

The Philippine theatre deal brings to 89 IMAX system deals announced in the last year, compared to 35 system signings in all of 2009.

Imax in June unveiled an order from Thailand exhibitor Major Cineplex for five more super-sized digital theatre systems (HR, June 18).

Toronto-based Imax also reported Wednesday that it generated $115 Million in gross boxoffice for digitally re-mastered (DMR) Hollywood movies during the second quarter of 2010, which includes "Avatar 3D," a 37% increase over 2009.

Shares in Imax traded up $0.55, or 4%, Wednesday on the NASDAQ Exchange to $12.80, down from a 52-week high of $21.30 in April amid an "Avatar" halo effect.

Imax CEO Richard Gelfond said his company's current network expansion and upcoming slate of super-sized Hollywood movies "will have a positive impact on Imax's future revenues and earnings given the revenues from the sales of the systems and recurring revenues from joint revenue sharing theatres, theatre maintenance and boxoffice royalties."
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