Pic to bow on 5,000 screens, 14 Imax theaters

In a big boost for Imax in China, helmer Feng Xiaogang’s disaster movie “Aftershock,” about the 1976 Tangshan earthquake, will bow July 22 on 5,000 screens and 14 Imax screens, according to producers Huayi Bros.

Huayi Bros. chairman Wang Zhonglei, estimates the Imax screens could account for around 8%-10% of the box office total.

There are 23 Imax cinemas in China, and the company has plans to install more than 50 by 2012.

Announcing the Imax deal, Feng reiterated a point made during the Shanghai Film Festival that Chinese filmmakers should not keep dreaming of U.S. distribution, but should be using U.S. technology.

Greg Foster, chairman and prexy of Imax’s Filmed Entertainment section told Daily Variety, “We are committed to the China market. It is the second biggest after the U.S. for Imax theaters.”

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