Tha Imax Corp. sees the potential to add at least 400 theaters in China by 2023, as the cinema chain operator looks to expand its footprint in a country that has emerged as the the world’s largest film market this year.
The Canadian-based company Ontario, which is famous for big screens in its film halls, has signed a contract with its Chinese partner. Guangzhou Jinyi Media Corp. for five new locations and an upgrade at seven existing ones, he said in an email. Imax, which owns about 700 theaters in China, sees potential to expand its network by more than 50% over the next three years, he said.
The theater chain is building on its commitment in China as an Asian country recovers strongly from the onslaught of a pandemic with a pandemic during the uprisings. to continue the plunder of the USA and Europe. While both the U.S. and China posted around a third of IMAX’s box office in 2019, the latter has surpassed the U.S. as the world’s premier film market this year confirming how important it is to film hall operators.
“One big vote of confidence in the Chinese market is that several of our top Chinese exhibitors are adding more theaters to their Imax footprint,” Imax CEO Rich Gelfond said in an interview. The company has also “been on track to release more local language films,” he said.
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China box office total revenue fell 16.4 billion Yuan ($ 2.5 billion) this year, compared to about $ 2 billion in ticket sales in the U.S., according to data from ticketing platform Maoyan Entertainment and Mojo Box Office market manager.
“The emergence of IMAX over the rapid recycling of box office in China allows it to go against regular theaters that have a greater presence in North America and Europe, where the recovery has been false, ”Bloomberg intelligence analysts Geetha Ranganathan and Amine Benzaid wrote on 17 November. nota.
Box office revenues in China are now at 75% of last year’s levels, due to local language barriers such as “The eight hundred, ”- also the world great film this year – said Gelfond. The pandemic has also accelerated the company ‘s commitment to releasing more Chinese films, he said.
While China has become an increasingly important film market, it has also been challenging as it sees a greater sense of nationalism.
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As people grow tired of social pace and vaccine campaigns become more widespread, Imax expects moviegoers to return in hordes. And not just in China.
Ticket sales in Japan in the past three months have reached the same level in the previous year and South Korea has also bounced back strongly, according to Gelfond.
“When people feeling safe going to the movies, they come back in very large numbers, ”he said.