IMAX Corporation and AMC Entertainment today announced an expansion of the companies' joint venture agreement to include installation of between 15 and 25 new IMAX theatres in the United States. These theatres, which are part of an amendment to the parties' original 2007 joint venture agreement, are in addition to AMC's current roll-out of 104 IMAX joint venture theatres, 79 of which are in operation and 25 of which are expected to open by the end of 2010 in the United States and Canada.
The companies intend to open the 15 to 25 new IMAX theatres in 2011 in both new markets and some markets where AMC already operates IMAX theatres in North America. Upon completion of the full AMC IMAX theatre roll-out, AMC will operate between 125 and 135 IMAX theatres.
"We are pleased to expand our relationship with IMAX, a valued partner in offering our guests the best out-of-home entertainment experience," said Gerry Lopez, CEO and president, AMC. "Our guests clearly choose to see movies in our IMAX auditoriums because the experience is unparalleled in terms of sight and sound, and it continues to be the premium offering in our portfolio of moviegoing options. We are proud to continue being the largest exhibitor partner of IMAX, and we are committed to providing our guests with the best choices in moviegoing."
Included among the terms of the amended agreement is an increase in the length of the joint venture arrangement for all AMC IMAX theatres -- to 10 years from the previous term of seven years -- as well as an adjusted allocation of costs to help defray AMC's increased operating expenses.
"Today's announcement is great news for AMC, IMAX and IMAX fans across North America," said Richard L. Gelfond, CEO, IMAX Corporation. "We are pleased to continue to grow with our long-time exhibitor partner AMC, contribute to their continued operational and financial success and bring The IMAX Experience to more consumers. We are also excited that through this expansion, we expect to increase the number of potential IMAX theatres in North America beyond the 400 locations we originally targeted. We look forward to continuing our growth and success with AMC."