Imax pact ups South American screens

Exhib restructures overall licensing agreement with Giencourt

Mega-screen exhib Imax has restructured its overall licensing agreement with Giencourt Investments, aimed at expanding the circuit’s footprint in South America.

The revised agreement with Giencourt, a member of the Brazilian gaming company Racimec International Group, will help Imax play a more active role in the market, as well as increase the number of Imax theaters installed in South America.

“We’ve never done joint ventures in South America, until now,” Imax CEO Richard Gelfond told Variety.

“We decided to make changes to speed up the process that makes it easier for exhibitors to get into the market and afford better terms.”

Imax has 15 existing commercial theaters in South America, which grossed $1.5 million in 2011. Brazil — by far the region’s biggest B.O. contributor — currently has three Imax locations.

According to Gelfond, Racimec is able to help Imax navigate specific local tax issues. “They’re also willing to invest some of their own capital,” he added.

Imax plans to add this year in South America at least five new theaters under the existing Racimec backlog, with 150 additional commercial zones earmarked for potential Imax locations. The company currently operates 583 theaters in 48 countries.

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