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Author Topic: IMAX Repurchases More Than 1.6 Million Shares In The First Quarter Of 2016  (Read 955 times)

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Offline donaldk

IMAX Corporation (NYSE:IMAX), today announced that the Company repurchased 1,627,645 shares in the first quarter of 2016, which includes 181,227 shares purchased in connection with the Company's long-term incentive plan. The Company purchased the shares at an average price of $30.98 for a total value of $50.4 million.   

To date, the Company has repurchased $81.9 million under its $150 million repurchase program, which was announced in 2014.

About IMAX Corporation
IMAX, an innovator in entertainment technology, combines proprietary software, architecture and equipment to create experiences that take you beyond the edge of your seat to a world you've never imagined. Top filmmakers and studios are utilizing IMAX theatres to connect with audiences in extraordinary ways, and, as such, IMAX's network is among the most important and successful theatrical distribution platforms for major event films around the globe.

IMAX is headquartered in New York, Toronto and Los Angeles, with offices in London, Tokyo, Shanghai and Beijing.  As of Dec. 31, 2015, there were 1,061 IMAX theatres (943 commercial multiplexes, 19 commercial destinations and 99 institutions) in 67 countries. On Oct. 8, 2015, shares of IMAX China, a subsidiary of IMAX Corp., began trading on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange under the stock code "HK.1970."

IMAX®, IMAX® 3D, IMAX DMR®, Experience It In IMAX®, An IMAX 3D Experience®, The IMAX Experience®, IMAX Is Believing® and IMAX nXos® are trademarks of IMAX Corporation. More information about the Company can be found at www.imax.com. You may also connect with IMAX on Facebook (www.facebook.com/imax), Twitter (www.twitter.com/imax) and YouTube (www.youtube.com/imaxmovies).

Linkback: http://dci-forum.com/d-cinema-home/11/imax-repurchases-more-than-1-6-million-shares-first-quarter-2016/651/

Offline donaldk

IMAX Signs Largest Deal In India; Five-Theatre Agreement With INOX Leisure Ltd.
« Reply #1 on: Fri April 08, 2016, 08:52:10 PM »
IMAX Signs Largest Deal In India; Five-Theatre Agreement With INOX Leisure Ltd. One of India's Largest Exhibitors Enters IMAX Business

IMAX Corporation (NYSE: IMAX) and INOX Leisure Limited (INOX), one of the largest exhibition chains in India, announced an agreement for five IMAX® theatres. The theatres will be added to existing INOX multiplexes in the cities of Mumbai, Bangalore, Delhi and Kolkata. The agreement represents the largest theatre deal for IMAX in India and brings the total number of IMAX theatres in the country to 20, with nine currently open and 11 contracted to open.

"We've always said India is potentially a huge opportunity for us," said IMAX CEO, Richard L. Gelfond. "Now is the time to grow in this strategically important market and this deal serves as an important first step. We believe that INOX adding IMAX theatres to its most successful complexes – which are situated in top-tier cities – will help us expand our network in India at a more rapid pace."

"We have built our business on our commitment to create a premium customer experience and we view our partnership with IMAX as an extension of this strategy," said Alok Tandon, CEO, INOX Leisure Ltd. "By associating ourselves with the IMAX brand and offering our guests a completely immersive cinema experience, we will continue to strengthen our position. We are particularly excited about shaping the future of cinema in India through such initiatives."

About INOX Leisure Ltd.
INOX Leisure Limited (INOX) is amongst India's largest multiplex chains with 107 multiplexes, 420 screens spread across 57 cities and 19 states.

INOX unveiled its first multiplex in 2002 at Pune (Maharashtra) and since then, there has been no looking back. Today, after three acquisitions (Calcutta Cinema Pvt. Ltd. in 2007, Fame India Ltd. in 2011 and Satyam Cineplexes Ltd. in 2014) and a healthy organic growth, INOX takes pride in being a 100 percent 3D enabled multiplex chain which is HFR (High Frame Rate) ready with a state-of-the-art 2k / 4k digital projection systems.

For easy and convenient ticket booking, INOX offers online booking on www.inoxmovies.com and through its smartphone applications. For movie updates and various offers, one can follow us on Facebook (www.facebook.com/INOXLEISURE) Twitter (www.twitter.com/INOXLEISURE) and Instagram (www.instagram/inoxmovies)

Offline DCI forum

IMAX Tentpole boss receives Cinemacon Award
« Reply #2 on: Sun April 10, 2016, 03:37:31 PM »
CJ @ CinemaCon: Interview with Phil Groves of IMAX
By J. Sperling Reich | April 10, 2016 10:00 am PDT

On Monday, April 11th CinemaCon will award Phil Groves from IMAX the CinemaCon Passepartout Award during the International Day luncheon at the annual trade show in Las Vegas. The award is presented each year to an industry executive who has proven their “dedication and commitment to the international marketplace”. Mr. Groves is really a no brainer for the award. A much beloved figure in the industry, Groves joined IMAX in 2003 as its first ever Vice President of Distribution and Development. The hire signaled to the industry that IMAX was serious about distributing a growing list of Hollywood tentpole films using their proprietary DMR (Digital Media Remastering) process which enabled the company to up-convert films from 35mm into the IMAX format.

At the time he was hired only three DMR titles had been released, starting with the first, “Apollo 13” in September of 2002. Groves was instrumental in helping grow the IMAX DMR business which has been so successful that by 2015 upwards of 44 blockbusters were released into IMAX theatres. These days, cinemas clamor for IMAX titles as much as distributors try and reserve IMAX screens for event films months in advance of a release. Groves role has also changed within IMAX, meaning he’s worked his way up to his own blockbuster title; Senior Vice President, IMAX Corporation and Executive Vice President, Global Distribution IMAX Entertainment.

IMAX wasn’t Groves first stop in the motion picture business. I first ran into him around 2002 when he was a the Vice President of Film for Loews Cineplex Entertainment. At the time I was helping develop web based software designed to help film buyers communicate with distributors. Groves was progressive enough to realize that at some point such applications would be used by exhibitors. Thus, he had me meet with his executive in charge of trailer placement so we could include such functionality in the finished product. While we were more than 10 years ahead of our time, Groves was right – film buyers at large circuits now rely on similar software to determine everything from film booking to showtime scheduling.

Groves lives in southern California with his wife Carol and daughter Casey. He works out of the IMAX offices in Playa Vista (an area of Los Angeles that has come to be known as Silicon Beach due to all the high tech companies located there). He’s thankful motion picture exhibition and distribution, at least the areas he’s involved in, is a phone business and his travel time is limited to 4 or 5 big business trips a year with a handful of smaller jaunts in between. We managed to catch up with Groves by email the week before CinemaCon and he was kind enough to answer a few questions about his career and IMAX.

Celluloid Junkie: What is your first memory of going to the cinema to see a film? What movie were you seeing?

Phil Groves: My first recollection of seeing a movie in a theater was “2001: A Space Odyssey”, when I was about ten. There may have been something sooner, a re-issue of “Bambi” perhaps, but “2001” is the one that made an indelible impression, and set in motion a life-long love of movies and science.

CJ: What made you decide to work in the motion picture industry? And are you pursuing the career or profession you anticipated early on? How did you go from screenwriting and storyboarding to film buying for Loews and ultimately to IMAX?

Phil Groves: Actually, my first love was a possible career in the aerospace industry – a dream I nurtured while living on the East Coast. After moving to Los Angeles when I was 17, and getting a summer job at a movie theater, my more creative side found sustenance in this amazing world we call cinema. The screenwriting and storyboarding, along with other creative pursuits, occurred in parallel with a career on the business side of Showbiz. I saw greater success as a film buyer for a number of theater chains; and then, of course, IMAX, which has been an amazing experience. I have in development here at IMAX a film called “Asteroid Impact”, a project where all of my interests get to merge into one mission.

CJ: Like all industries, the motion picture business changes with time. What are some of the biggest changes you’ve experienced and what were some of the changes that surprised you the most?

Phil Groves: Of course, IMAX was seismic for me, personally; but converting feature films into the IMAX format was also a significant change in the theatrical space. Filmmakers seek out the IMAX screens for their incredible titles. The other big change is the increasing significance of the international market, with the meteoric growth of China driving much of it. IMAX made itself a very good partner early on in China, and has grown right along with the market.

CJ: When you first started working with IMAX they had already released a handful of Hollywood titles. Were you brought onboard to increase the number of titles being released in IMAX?

Phil Groves: Greg Foster, CEO of IMAX Entertainment, is the engine that brings our film slate together, with me aiding and abetting. My primary focus is, and was, to make IMAX fit more seamlessly into the theatrical ecosystem, with my talented team and me coordinating with studio distribution and our exhibitor partners.

CJ: Was it challenging to convince studios to release in IMAX?

Phil Groves: Yes, at first. Warner Bros was the first studio that got the joke, and saw the potential IMAX had for their titles with a day and date release strategy. With each title came the proof of concept, in the box office data. We provided studios with analysis, and they also did their own. Over time, the win-win for the studios and exhibitor alike became more self-evident and foreseeable.

CJ: What have been the biggest challenges in distributing Hollywood releases in IMAX?

Phil Groves: The IMAX global network has a bandwidth of one auditorium. This creates a dilemma since we are often faced with a demand for titles in IMAX which overlap in their release dates. We work with all of the studios, and hate having to say “no” to any of them.

CJ: What are some of the changes you’ve seen in the way studios handle an IMAX release since you first started working with the company?

Phil Groves: The most notable are the variety of ways to leverage the IMAX involvement with a film. Apart from the incremental box office the IMAX screens generate, IMAX also offers additional hooks with which a studio can use to market their films. For instance, when a filmmaker uses the IMAX cameras, this added feature allows studios and media a variety of ways to talk about the movie to the consumers. The most passionate moviegoers seek out the best way to view their film of choice, and the more bells and whistles there are to enhance the experience, the more they are driven to seek out the IMAX screens.

CJ: IMAX continues to grow its presence around the world. Is it correct to say you are especially focused on the Chinese market? Are there any other markets IMAX has its sights set on in the near future?

Phil Groves: There are other people at IMAX focused on getting IMAX technology into the theaters, and they are a great team. China has certainly been a huge focus, but there are other growth markets which have our attention, including ones like India and Brazil.

CJ: Which international markets have been most receptive to IMAX? Alternatively, which have presented the most obstacles?

Phil Groves: Newer markets with a growing theatrical business, like China, seem to connect best to IMAX; but it really isn’t the nationality so much as it is the cinephile everywhere that connects with IMAX. In markets where IMAX did not pre-exist before that first IMAX screen, we are faced with explaining to the consumer “What is IMAX?” Fortunately, we have a terrific marketing team and they have a way of getting the word out.

CJ: Are there territories where IMAX has saturated the market (e.g. North America) and may not be able to significantly increase its screen count?

Phil Groves: North America is certainly the closest to saturation, but even here we still see room to grow. We are in about 65 countries, with more coming. We deliver double-digit percentages of the global BO with a single digit share of the screens. Lucky for IMAX, the world is a big place.

CJ: What are some of the noteworthy challenges you’ve faced working various territories around the world when it comes to film distribution and exhibition?

Phil Groves: With many titles throughout the year, some markets have release dates which are staggered off the Domestic schedule. This dynamic creates “knots” in the timing of titles for a specific territory, with titles overlapping. Conversely, this also creates “gaps” in the schedule, which offer up the chance to include other titles we couldn’t pursue otherwise. This push-me/pull-you effect keeps things interesting with our partners, but we always work out good solutions in the end. The world is not only big, but it’s round too.

CJ: It seems every time one turns around an exhibitor is opening their own flavor of premium large format. Is that one of the biggest issues IMAX now faces? Is it even fair or proper to be comparing IMAX against private label PLF?

Phil Groves: The presence of IMAX screens has made it clear there is an audience that craves an elevated, out-of-home experience. So it is no surprise others try to create their own brand which attempts to suggest the same – especially if there is a theater with an IMAX screen down the street. The comparison between IMAX and a PLF is a bit of an apples and oranges comparison, since IMAX is involved with a film’s production (often starting at pre-production) before it ends up in an IMAX theater where our projection and sound technology then take over. The version of the film destined for an IMAX screen can only play an IMAX screen. A typical DCP headed for a PLF screen can also play on any other projector in the complex.

CJ: In looking back, during your time at IMAX have there been any projects, deals, releases, etc. that you wish you could do over or tweak in order to better the outcome?

Phil Groves: Our filmmaker and studio partners are the best. I don’t think there is much we can do to improve on them. However, it is the movie business, and movies insert a degree of unpredictability into the equation. All we can do is learn from our successes and failures to inform our thinking on the next project. The good news is we succeed far more often than not.

CJ: What are your predictions for the motion picture exhibition and distribution industries over the next 10 years? How do you see IMAX fitting into the future of the business?

Phil Groves: There is the ongoing concern about the collapse of the holdback time between theatrical releases and home viewing. But I think it’s possible we may not recognize the “collapse” of a window as such. It seems to me the studios are already reacting to the distinct needs of theatrical and home video by focusing on event films for the movie theaters, and other content for the home flat-screen. I believe film lovers will always seek out big, communal ways to enjoy their entertainment, and IMAX will always be there to serve that appetite.

CJ: What part of your job do you think fellow industry professionals would be surprised you spend a lot of time focusing on?

Phil Groves: Many may not be aware of the long range planning that is necessary in creating the IMAX line-up of titles. When working with Greg Foster to target the titles we feel deserve the IMAX screen, we are often doing this years in advance of the film’s release date. This is especially important for movies where the filmmaker wants to employ the entire suite of IMAX tools, the IMAX camera being only one of them.

CJ: Is there one film release or achievement in your time at IMAX you’re especially proud of?

Phil Groves: To me, you’re asking which of my children is the fairest. But if I had to pick a favorite, it would be “Interstellar”. Apart from the challenges and effort that went into mounting its release in both IMAX film and digital, it is one of my favorite films of all time. It portrays the astounding notion of travel between the stars with convincing authenticity, and masterfully combines this very Sci-Fi premise with a resonant and poignant story about a father and his daughter. It literally blends every one of my passions into one movie.

Offline donaldk

IMAX shifts gear
« Reply #3 on: Mon April 18, 2016, 11:57:09 AM »
IMAX Corporation announced the test launch of IMAXShift, an immersive group cycling concept built around the primary components of The IMAX Experience.  IMAXShift combines key elements of IMAX technology with industry-leading instructors to immerse participants – from beginners to serious athletes – in a state-of-the-art indoor, audio-visual group cycling experience. The test studio, which is located in the DUMBO neighborhood of Brooklyn, NY, will open April 28.

IMAXShift will reinvent the indoor cycling experience by offering an immersive, thrilling and effective workout, led by some of the industry's most acclaimed instructors and powered by IMAX's cinema-grade projection and sound technology. The purpose-built studio, which will accommodate up to 50 riders at a time, features IMAX's patented theatre geometry and combines heart-pounding, crystal-clear audio and sharp, hyper-real imagery on the legendary giant IMAX screen to completely immerse riders in a full sensory workout experience.

IMAXShift will be working closely with its instructor team – including industry-leading cycling instructors Jesse Alexander and Bree Branker – and other partners to ensure that every class is a unique content "journey" that augments the fitness regimen and maximizes the workout experience. Participants will feel like they are cycling through the solar system, soaring over the coasts of Hawaii or pedaling to the beat with music-reactive visuals – all designed to pair seamlessly with each instructor's choreography.



"As an instructor, I am always looking for new and innovative ways to motivate my riders and help them get the most out of their fitness journey," said Jesse Alexander. "What excites me the most about IMAXShift is the originality of the experience; by capturing the energy and buzz of an IMAX® theatre in an indoor cycling setting, the workout is truly immersive and no two will ever be the same."

IMAX has committed to the initial studio in Brooklyn, which is well-known as being a community of artists and early adopters and also fits the key demographic, to enable it to assess the concept's commercial viability. If successful, the Company plans to employ a licensing approach similar to the one with which it has so successfully structured its global theatre network.

"Over our nearly 50-year history IMAX has established itself as a leading lifestyle brand and pioneer in blending cutting-edge technology, science and art to create unparalleled entertainment experiences," said Robert D. Lister, Chief Business Development Officer, IMAX Corp.  "As we examined potential areas in which to extend The IMAX Experience, one of the opportunities we identified was the fitness space – where there is a clear growing consumer demand for more engaging group experiences. By incorporating key elements of IMAX's technology and patented theatre design and working with some of today's top fitness instructors to develop fully tailored on-screen workouts, we believe the pilot launch of IMAXShift has the potential to set the stage for a new movement in physical activity and offer participants a workout unlike anything they've experienced before."

For more information and class schedules, please visit www.imaxshift.com.

Offline donaldk

New IMAX LASER Theater construction in Berlin, Revenue share agreement signed
« Reply #4 on: Wed April 20, 2016, 01:48:36 AM »
IMAX Corporation and UCI KINOWELT, one of the largest exhibition chains in Germany, announced an agreement for an IMAX theatre featuring IMAX's next-generation laser technology – IMAX with Laser. The theatre will be added to a new UCI KINOWELT multiplex to be located in the Mercedes Benz Platz development – a groundbreaking new urban area in the heart of Berlin that includes commercial, office, hotel and leisure activities built around the Mercedes Benz Arena.  UCI KINOWELT is the German subsidiary of Europe's largest exhibitor and IMAX partner ODEON & UCI Cinemas Group. With today's agreement, ODEON & UCI Cinemas Group has a total IMAX footprint of 18 theatres including 14 in the UK, two in Spain, one in Italy and one in Germany. The largest cinema operator in Europe. The Group is the leading cinema operator in the UK & Ireland, Spain and Italy, and has strong positions in Germany, Austria and Portugal. It operates 2,238 screens at 243 sites across Europe.

"We are delighted to forge a relationship with UCI KINOWELT and expand our partnership with ODEON & UCI Cinemas Group.  By adding an IMAX theatre in a high profile Berlin site with one of the nation's leading exhibitors, we are executing on our growth strategy in this priority market," said Andrew Cripps, President, IMAX International. "We continue to gain traction in Germany - one of the world's top box office territories.  In the past 12 months, our theatres have had some of the highest IMAX per-screen averages in Europe and since installing IMAX® with laser at two of our commercial sites in Germany, admissions have increased by approximately 30 percent year over year." 

"We have witnessed the impressive results that IMAX has generated in Germany and throughout Europe and are confident that IMAX will deliver an amazing experience that will delight our guests and support our growth," said Paul Donovan, CEO, ODEON & UCI Cinemas Group. "Our exciting new Mercedes Benz Platz site will serve as the flagship multiplex of our circuit in Germany and be one of the most impressive cinemas in Europe, offering guests a premium, state-of-the-art entertainment experience. IMAX with Laser is a perfect fit for this complex, where only the best, most advanced cinema technology will do."

IMAX with laser represents a quantum leap forward in cinema technology — providing audiences with the sharpest, brightest, clearest and most vivid digital images ever, combined with a whole new level of immersive audio. Designed from the ground up for IMAX's largest screens, the dual 4K laser projection system is equipped with a new optical engine and suite of proprietary IMAX technologies capable of projecting an image with up to a 1.43:1 aspect ratio with maximum resolution and sharpness, unparalleled 2D and 3D brightness, industry-leading contrast and an expanded color gamut that will allow filmmakers to present more vivid and exotic colors than ever before.

The new system also includes IMAX's next-generation sound technology that delivers even greater power and precision for ultimate audio immersion. It has been upgraded to 12 discrete channels plus sub-bass, and includes additional side channels as well as new overhead channels that will improve the system's ability to position sounds around the audience and further ensure every seat is the best in the house.

Offline donaldk

IMAX grows Q1 revenue, as boxoffice intake increases
« Reply #5 on: Thu April 21, 2016, 02:45:49 PM »
IMAX Corporation reports its First-Quarter 2016 financial results. Adjusted EBITDA grew 97% year-over-year to $31.5 million, resulting in adjusted EBITDA margins of 37.4%. Signings grew by 71%, with 36 new signings up from 21 in Q1 2015.

IMAX Corporation reported first-quarter 2016 revenues of $92.1 million, an increase of 48% year on year,  primarily due to strong box office. Total Global Box Office of $272 million, up 64% from Q1 2015, driven by strong growth domestically and continued strength in international markets.

Adjusted EBITDA as calculated in accordance with the Company's credit facility of $31.5 million, and adjusted net income after non-controlling interest of $15.5 million, or $0.22 per diluted share, representing a 214% increase over the prior-year period. GAAP net income after non-controlling interest was $9.5 million, or $0.14 per diluted share. The Company also reported a first-quarter global per-screen average of $284,400, up 40% over Q1 2015.

"2016 is off to an exceptional start for IMAX," said IMAX CEO Richard L. Gelfond. "The pace of IMAX® theatre signings, installations and box office growth, both domestically and globally, continues to drive real momentum in the business. We saw strong financial results in the first quarter, with 48% revenue growth, over 1,000 basis points of EBITDA margin expansion, and adjusted EPS growth of more than 214% compared to the same period last year. We believe significant opportunity lies ahead as we continue the year with a robust pipeline of films featuring major blockbuster titles including a strong start to the second quarter with The Jungle Book, followed by Captain America: Civil War, Independence Day: Resurgence, Star Trek Beyond, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and numerous other "IMAX-centric" motion pictures that are ideally sequenced throughout the year. We think we are well-positioned to continue to deliver sustainable long-term growth for our shareholders."

Network Growth Update

The total IMAX theatre network consisted of 1,066 systems as of March 31, 2016, of which 952 were in commercial multiplexes. There were 388 theatres in backlog as of March 31, 2016, compared to 372 in backlog as of December 31, 2015.  In the first quarter of 2016, the Company signed contracts for 36 theatres, of which 35 were for new locations and one was an upgrade.  In the quarter, the Company also installed 19 theatres, of which 10 were for new theatre locations and nine were upgrades.

"We continue to see substantial signings momentum in key geographical areas including China, Japan and India," continued Gelfond. "This sustained international expansion, coupled with a North American outlook about which we are very optimistic, reflects the strong opportunity within our business moving forward."

First-Quarter Segment Results

Revenue from sales and sales-type leases was $18.0 million in the first quarter of 2016, compared to $8.6 million in the first quarter of 2015, primarily reflecting nine digital system upgrades in existing locations, compared to two upgrades (one sale and one operating lease) in the first quarter of 2015. In addition, the company installed five full new theatre systems under sales and sales-type lease arrangements in the most recent first quarter, compared to the five sales-type theatres the Company installed in the first quarter of 2015. 

Revenue from joint revenue-sharing arrangements was $23.4 million in the quarter, compared to $15.9 million in the prior-year period. Gross margins on joint revenue-sharing arrangements grew from 66.9% in Q1 2015, to 76.9% in the first quarter of 2016. During the quarter, the Company installed five new theatres under joint revenue-sharing arrangements, compared to six in 2015. The Company had 534 theatres operating under joint revenue-sharing arrangements as of March 31, 2016, as compared to 457 joint-venture theatres one year prior.

Production and IMAX DMR (Digital Re-Mastering) revenues were $29.8 million in the first quarter of 2016, compared to $17.7 million in the first quarter of 2015. DMR gross margins grew from 74.8% in Q1 2015, to 76.6% in the first quarter of 2016. Gross box office from DMR titles was $272.0 million in the first quarter of 2016, compared with $165.6 million in the prior-year period. The average global DMR box office per screen in the first quarter of 2016 was $284,400 compared with $202,900 in same period last year.

Gross margin of 56.6% compared to 57.8% last year, which was impacted by the installation of nine digital upgrades under sales and sales-type lease arrangements.  Excluding the impact of these upgrades, gross margin grew 480 basis points from 58.6% to 63.4%.

Operating expenses, excluding stock based compensation, were lower than the prior year period and contributed to the significant operating expense leverage realized in the first quarter. Adjusted EBITDA margins of 37.4% grew over 1,000 basis points versus a prior year level of 26.9%.
Share Buybacks

As previously disclosed, the Company repurchased 1,627,645 shares in the first quarter of 2016, which includes 181,227 shares purchased in connection with the Company's long-term incentive plan. The Company purchased the shares at an average price of $30.98 for a total value of $50.5 million.

On April 20, 2016, the Company's board of directors approved an incremental $50.0 million increase to the repurchase allowance under the Company's previously-announced share repurchase program, for an aggregate repurchase allowance of $200.0 million. All other terms of the repurchase program remain unchanged. In addition, on February 22, 2016, the Company amended the terms of its credit facility to increase the general restricted payment basket thereunder (which covers, among other things, the repurchase of shares) from $150.0 million to $350.0 million in the aggregate after the amendment date.

Conference Call

The Company will host a conference call today at 8:30 AM ET to discuss its first-quarter 2016 financial results. To access the call via telephone, interested parties in the US and Canada should dial (800) 505-9568 approximately 5 to 10 minutes before the call begins. International callers should dial (416) 204-9271. The conference ID for the call is 1374767. A replay of the call will be available via webcast on the 'Investor Relations' section of www.imax.com or via telephone by dialing (888) 203-1112 (US and Canada), or (647) 436-0148 (international). The Conference ID for the telephone replay is 1374767.

Offline donaldk

IMAX signs up ten more theaters in China
« Reply #6 on: Tue May 03, 2016, 06:02:12 PM »
IMAX China Holding Inc. and Shanghai Bestar Cinemas Management Co. Ltd., a subsidiary of Future Land Holdings Co. Ltd. a leading property developer in China, today announced an agreement at the Shanghai headquarters of Future Land Holdings Co. Ltd. for 10 new IMAX theatres to be located throughout China. The theatres will be added to multiplexes located within Injoy Plazas – Future Land's commercial shopping center brand, and are expected to be installed in 2016 and 2017.

"Shanghai Bestar Cinemas was established in response to the growing Chinese film and exhibition industry and the vital role that entertainment plays in the success of our commercial property developments," said Mr. Wang Zheng, Chief Executive Officer, Shanghai Bestar Cinemas Management Co., Ltd. "In China, IMAX is synonymous with the best moviegoing experience, which is why we are delighted to launch our exhibition business with IMAX.  As we strongly build our circuit's presence nationwide, we plan to open over 50 cinemas in three years and over 100 cinemas in five years, half of which will be installed with IMAX theatres. We look forward to expanding our partnership with IMAX."   

With an investment of 3 billion RMB within five years, Bestar will construct and operate 100 high-end, innovative cinemas. More than half of its cinemas will be installed with IMAX theaters, building a cinema culture kingdom combining film projection, interactive entertainment and leisure experience. In this way, it leads customers into the world of fantasy.

"We are delighted to partner with Future Land, one of the top developers in China, and are honored to be a part of its new exhibition business - Shanghai Bestar Cinemas," said IMAX Corp. CEO Richard L. Gelfond. "We have relationships with virtually every major exhibitor and studio in China and continue to see increased interest among property developers in the country that have IMAX in mind at the inception of their projects - further solidifying our position in the Chinese entertainment ecosystem."

Offline donaldk

40 more IMAX theaters for China
« Reply #7 on: Thu May 12, 2016, 07:44:48 PM »
IMAX Signs a 40-Theatre Full Revenue Share Agreement With Guangzhou JinYi Media Corporation In China. The deal marks a new full joint venture arrangement in China with one of the country's largest exhibitors. Its subsidiary JinYi Cinema is one of the top five cinema franchises in China. Nowadays, JinYi manages at least 1,731 screens across 325 subsidiary and affiliated cinemas with more than 262,271 seats across 21 provinces and four municipalities.

IMAX and JinYi announced a full revenue share agreement for 40 new IMAX theatres. The theatres will be added to new projects as well as existing JinYi Cinemas across China and brings the exhibitor's total IMAX footprint to 60. The theatres will be added to a combination of Tier One to Tier Four cities throughout China and are expected to be installed at the end of this year through 2020 with a majority to be installed by 2018. The deal represents one of the largest IMAX signings in China.

JinYi Media Corporation is one of the largest exhibition companies in China, with 1,731 screens in 325 subsidiary and affiliated theaters across 21 provinces and four municipalities. The parties first signed an agreement in 2009 for four IMAX theatres and with today's deal, JinYi Media Corporation is now the third-largest IMAX partner in China and internationally.  Under today's agreement, the exhibitor will bring IMAX to several new, untapped markets, such as the city of Huaihua, which is located in Hunan province and has a population of approximately 5 million as well as the city of Deyang with a population of approximately 4 million, which is located in the province of Sichuan. Guangzhou JinYi Media Corporation is the second full joint venture IMAX partner in China.

"We are delighted to further expand our partnership with JinYi, one of the largest exhibitors in China. Their sizeable commitment and continued confidence in IMAX to play such an integral part of their complexes is yet another testament to the strength and value of IMAX in China. Together, we will help meet the strong consumer demand for cinema-going in China where IMAX remains an affordable, yet differentiated luxury," said IMAX Corp. CEO, Richard L. Gelfond. "We have set a target of 1,000 theatres in China. With over 300 theatres open and – including this deal and a 10-theatre deal announced earlier this year – an additional 270 in backlog, we are just beginning to tap China's full potential, which is on track to overtake the US as the largest film market in the world by 2017."

"Driven by the dramatic growth in the Chinese exhibition market, we are embarking on an aggressive expansion of our circuit. Mall developers recognize the power of the IMAX brand to attract consumers and with IMAX as an anchor entertainment attraction, we were able to secure locations in our desired complexes," said Mr. Leo Li, CEO Guangzhou JinYi Media Corporation. "The IMAX slate of Hollywood and Chinese blockbuster titles coupled with its powerfully immersive format is beloved by moviegoers in China.  IMAX is a key differentiator that we believe will not only strengthen the customer experience but also our business results."

Offline donaldk

IMAX is developing a location based virtual reality strategy with Swedish Starbreeze and developing a virtual reality camera with Google.

IMAX Corporation announced its strategy to develop a premium location-based virtual reality offering that will deliver immersive, multi-dimensional experiences, including entertainment content and games, to multiplexes, malls and other commercial destinations. Following yesterday's IMAX Google VR camera announcement, IMAX has expanded its initiative to include a joint venture agreement with Starbreeze AB, a Swedish-based independent creator, publisher and distributor of high-quality VR entertainment content and hardware.

Under the agreement, IMAX will create a premium VR experience that will leverage Starbreeze's unique StarVR headset technology, which provides a 210-degree full peripheral field of view – double that of any other VR headset currently available – to offer a truly immersive VR experience that is worthy of the IMAX brand. As part of the partnership, Starbreeze's existing library of VR entertainment content and games will be made available to consumers as well as the premium content resulting from the IMAX Google VR camera. IMAX will also look to establish new VR content partnerships through its existing Hollywood filmmaker and studio relationships. Meanwhile, Starbreeze will bring new interactive content through its publishing and partnerships in the gaming industry, which includes its relationship with leading Hollywood studio Lionsgate, with whom Starbreeze is developing its John Wick VR game as well as others.

IMAX sees a unique opportunity to combine premium equipment, more robust computing power, and expansive spaces to create a highly differentiated, destination-based VR experience that will draw audiences out of their homes, similar to the strategy IMAX has successfully employed in the cinema space. 

"As technology and entertainment options evolve, we continue to innovate and find new platforms to extend The IMAX Experience," said IMAX Corp. CEO Richard L. Gelfond. "We believe VR is an area that holds tremendous promise and is a natural progression for IMAX given our established worldwide brand presence, our immersive entertainment technology know-how, and strong industry relationships with filmmakers, studios and exhibitors. Just as IMAX provides the best cinematic experience, Starbreeze is a pioneer in the burgeoning VR market and its headsets will deliver a wider, 'IMAX-like' field of view to allow consumers to see, feel, move and play in new worlds in a powerfully immersive and realistic way. While our partnership with Google puts IMAX in the VR capture business, Starbreeze brings the capabilities in content distribution and delivery that, when combined, help us to establish a complete offering across the VR ecosystem."

The new VR experience will be made available within select multiplexes as well as commercial locations such as shopping centers and tourist destinations. The parties will launch up to six sites this year in both domestic and international markets. A test site for the first IMAX VR location has been selected. If successful, the intent is to roll out the concept globally.

"We believe one of the best ways to experience VR is communally and in the highest possible quality," said Starbreeze CEO Bo Andersson Klint. "We want everyone to have an accessible and exciting premium VR experience in cinema complexes and commercial locations all around the world. This open content platform will entertain and excite millions of people globally. The StarVR HMD – manufactured by our partner, leading Taiwanese electronics company Acer – together with the IMAX brand and its global reach through its many venues, is a great combination for our audiences."

The joint venture will carry the IMAX brand, with IMAX providing product design, management and installation services as well as sales, marketing and communications support and Starbreeze delivering the software platform, hardware, technical and product support. IMAX also plans to tap into its vast network of filmmakers and exhibitor relationships while Starbreeze will also leverage its relationships in developing and publishing interactive entertainment experiences.

"I've always been a big believer in IMAX, which has been a great longtime partner," said leading Hollywood director Michael Bay. "As a filmmaker, IMAX's location-based VR offering presents an exciting opportunity to transport audiences even further into the worlds we create. We are in advanced discussions with IMAX now on some fun VR concepts and I look forward to test-driving their new technology."

Rob Moore, Vice Chairman of Paramount Pictures commented, "Audiences worldwide are looking to engage with their favorite films and franchises more than ever before. IMAX's VR strategy provides the ability to immerse consumers in a whole new world that expands on the movie itself and opens up a lot of exciting creative possibilities for our properties."

"Starbreeze has played an integral role in the growth of our interactive storytelling and virtual reality business and we are happy to broaden that relationship to include our longtime friends at IMAX," said Peter Levin, President of Interactive Ventures and Games for Lionsgate. "We are big believers in location-based entertainment VR and this is a great opportunity to expand the reach of our VR portfolio, including our John Wick episodic VR game and the other forthcoming titles we are working on with Starbreeze."

Paul Donovan, CEO of Odeon UCI Cinemas Group, added: "We are committed to providing moviegoers with the best possible experiences to get them off their couches and into the multiplex. Our longstanding partnership with IMAX has been instrumental to this effort and we believe their relationships with studios, filmmakers and exhibitors as well as their leading brand and technology put them in an ideal position to capitalize on the growing VR movement. We think VR has a big future in cinemas and we are very interested in partnering with IMAX on this front as their efforts continue to develop."

Starbreeze is an independent creator, publisher and distributor of high quality entertainment products. With studios in Stockholm, Paris and Los Angeles, the company creates games and other virtual reality entertainment products, based on proprietary design and licensed content. Starbreeze's most recent games include PAYDAY 2, the adrenaline fueled bank robbing co-op game and the upcoming John Wick VR shooter and survival co-op FPS OVERKILL's The Walking Dead.

Starbreeze has set out to develop truly immersive virtual reality experiences, by integrating software and hardware in its StarVR head mounted display, to be produced together with leading electronics company Acer, displaying a unique field of vision and a mission to bring top-end VR to large audiences. Starbreeze launched StarVR with a VR-experience at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in June 2015, gained by teaming up with French Infinite Eye. In January 2016, Starbreeze unveiled the StarCade initiative; centers that invites people to immerse themselves into premium VR experiences. The first cinematic VR experience "Cockatoo Spritz" directed by Stephane Barbato, premiered at the 69th Cannes Film Festival 2016.



GOOGLE AND IMAX PARTNER TO DEVELOP GROUNDBREAKING VIRTUAL REALITY CAMERA
Technology Innovators Join Forces to Raise VR Capture Quality to the Next Level through IMAX Camera and Google's Jump Technology
 
Google and IMAX Corporation announced at Google's annual developer conference, Google I/O, that the companies are working to develop a cinema-grade virtual reality (VR) camera – the IMAX VR camera – to enable today's leading filmmakers and content creators to deliver the highest-quality 3D 360-degree content experiences to audiences worldwide.

IMAX's team of engineers and camera specialists will work with Google to design the new high-resolution cameras from the ground up, leveraging IMAX's best-in-class capture technology that has become an integral tool for today's biggest and most visionary filmmakers including Christopher Nolan, J.J. Abrams, Michael Bay, Anthony and Joe Russo, and Zack Snyder, among others. The camera, which will be built to utilize Jump, a platform for creating and viewing 3D 360 video, will deliver the highest-quality, most-immersive virtual reality content to consumers.

"For nearly 50 years, IMAX has pioneered moving image capture to allow filmmakers to produce the highest resolution images across 2D, 3D, film and digital formats, said IMAX Corp. CEO, Richard L. Gelfond.  "Today's partnership with Google takes us into the next frontier of immersive experiences – virtual reality – and we look forward to working with them to provide our filmmaker partners and other content creators with a level of VR capture quality not yet seen in this space. VR marks an exciting area of opportunity for IMAX and we believe this agreement, which enables us to participate in image capture and content creation, is an important first step in our broader VR strategy."

IMAX developed its first 2D 15perf / 65mm film camera in 1976. To this day, it remains the highest-resolution camera in the world – providing approximately 10x more resolution than 35mm film. IMAX has built out a suite of high-end capture devices – including recent developments of a lightweight 3D digital camera as well as a new cutting-edge 2D digital camera developed in partnership with ARRI.

"IMAX is known everywhere for their incredible immersive cinematography and sound, and we're delighted to have them contribute their decades of experience in cameras and content to the Jump platform," said Clay Bavor, VP, Virtual Reality at Google.

IMAX will also provide Google with exclusive access to pre-existing IMAX documentary content for conversion and use with Google's VR technology.


Offline donaldk

Chinese Wanda thinking big, to boost IMAX screens to 360
« Reply #9 on: Tue August 02, 2016, 08:58:24 AM »
In IMAX's largest new theatre deal ever – 150 additional theatres are to be added with Wanda Cinema Line Corp. Under the agreement, the theatres will be built throughout China over six years, starting next year, with 110 of these theatres scheduled to be installed by 2020. Fininishing an earlier 120 screen commitment early, by the end of the year instead of 2020, Wanda and China's IMAX theather count is growing fast, with Jingly and Beshar also building theaters with 50 IMAX screens in the country.

This agreement builds on a partnership that dates to 2007, when Wanda Cinema opened its first IMAX theatre in Dongguan, China. Wanda Cinema, the exhibition subsidiary of Dalian Wanda Group, currently operates more than 160 IMAX theatres and is Asia's largest cinema owner.

Today's deal is expected to expand Wanda Cinema's footprint of IMAX theatres by more than 70 percent, to 360, with the majority opening over the next three years and the full rollout to be concluded by 2022. With this agreement, IMAX China's total backlog will increase nearly 60 percent. This deal is in addition to a 2013 agreement between the companies under which Wanda committed to deploy 120 new theatres by 2020. Wanda now expects to virtually complete this deployment by the end of 2016, four years earlier than originally anticipated. Nearly half of Wanda's new IMAX theatres may be outfitted with new laser-projection technology, commencing at the end of 2018. The key deal terms are substantially similar to those under the 2013 agreement.

"This is a landmark development in IMAX's history and a strategic linchpin in our growth strategy, particularly as we've seen over time that signings lead to installs, higher box office and ultimately more revenue," said IMAX CEO Richard L. Gelfond.  "It not only strengthens our market-leading position in China, the world's fastest-growing film market, but also reinforces our strong working relationship with Wanda Cinema, one of our most important business partners, and speaks to the value Wanda places on the IMAX business. Wanda's significant commitment also illustrates how our decade-long relationship has evolved well beyond its origins in one-time system sales.  Wanda and IMAX now operate under a more sustainable revenue-sharing model that opens new opportunities to jointly release critically acclaimed local-language films and share box office revenue."

Since 2013, IMAX and Wanda have collaborated on a number of Mandarin-language box-office hits, including Man of Tai Chi, Go Away Mr. Tumor and last year's Mojin: The Lost Legend, the highest-grossing local-language film ever released by IMAX.

"We cannot overstate the strategic importance of our IMAX relationship," said John Zeng, President of Wanda Cinema Line.  "Our partnership has been instrumental to Wanda's tremendous growth and our track record as China's box-office market leader for seven years running.  Our business model is predicated on creating a differentiated movie experience.  By combining Wanda's premier theatre environment and IMAX's advanced cinematic technologies, we're able to deliver the most immersive and compelling filmed entertainment experience anywhere in China.  We look forward to leveraging this successful model for years to come, partnering with IMAX to foster the incredible expansion of China's film industry and bring even more blockbuster films to Chinese moviegoers."

Zeng pointed to the IMAX-Wanda partnership as playing a key role in the blockbuster release of Warcraft, which opened in June to record crowds, fast becoming a Chinese cultural phenomenon.  The film was produced and distributed by Legendary Entertainment, a Wanda Group company.  Warcraft smashed IMAX China's first-day box-office record, generating 35 million yuan ($5.3 million) in ticket sales, while also setting new company benchmarks for midnight and presale box-office records.

With today's deal, IMAX's total number of theatre signings year to date has reached 284, including 229 in China, eclipsing the company's previous annual global record of 277. China generates about a third of IMAX's global box-office sales.

As of June 30, 2016, IMAX's theatre network in China totaled 335 theatres, up from 250 at the same point in 2015. Despite significant network growth and expansion into more than 100 different cities in China, IMAX's per-screen averages have been stable at $1.2 million to $1.3 million for the past four years.

Earlier this year, IMAX announced plans to digitally re-master four high-profile Chinese titles for release this summer in China, including Wanda Media's For a Few Bullets; Edko Films' Cold War 2, starring Chow Yun-fat; Skiptrace starring Jackie Chan (Chan's fourth film to be released in IMAX); and the 3D adventure film Time Raiders, directed by Daniel Lee and jointly produced by Le Vision Pictures and Shanghai Film Group.  The company also plans to release The Great Wall, starring Matt Damon and directed by Zhang Yimou and is in discussions with potential partners on pending releases, including Journey to the West II.

"The Chinese market is a fast-growing market with an audience that is increasingly discerning about technology and their in-theater experience," said Zhang. "As a filmmaker, I strive to provide fans with the best possible experience and I am very excited to present my new film The Great Wall in IMAX's format and growing network of theatres."

IMAX plans to increase the number of local-language films and expects to release anywhere from eight to 10 local-language films in China in 2016, counting the previous releases of Monkey King 2 and Kung Fu Panda 3.  Hollywood titles on IMAX China's film slate for the remainder of the year include Star Trek Beyond, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Jason Bourne and Doctor Strange. Separately, IMAX China and China Media Capital established a movie production fund to co-finance a slate of 15 Chinese language films over the next three years.

In addition to Wanda Cinema Line, Wanda Group owns AMC Theatres, IMAX's first North American commercial exhibition partner and the world's largest operator of IMAX theatres.  AMC, with a market commitment of 185 IMAX theatres, is the largest IMAX exhibitor in North America. And also the largest Dolby Cinema Exhibitor.

Established in 2005, Wanda Cinema Line Corporation Limited is a subsidiary of Wanda Group. As of June 30, 2016, Wanda Cinemas was operating 320 theatres in nearly 120 cities in China as well as major cities in Australia and New Zealand, with 2,789 total screens. Wanda Cinemas accounted for approximately 14% of China's market share in terms of box office revenue, ranking No. 1 in the China market for the seventh consecutive year. In 2015, Wanda Cinemas grossed 6.3 billion yuan in box office revenue.


 

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