Mega-screen company Imax is moving forward with its laser technology, signing 63 laser projectors to be installed worldwide over the next several years, with the majority of the new systems ear marked for Greater China.
Imax has made significant inroads into China throughout the last few years, expanding its brand with a growing infrastructure. The Imax laser projectors, which are developed through a partnership with Kodak and Barco, total 43 on the mainland, with the country’s largest exhib Wanda footing the bill for all but three.
In the U.S., Imax has inked a deal to install nine new laser projectors in theaters, including the TCL Chinese in Hollywood. The company previously announced agreements for laser systems at the Smithsonian.
“We’re creating some incredible destinations around laser technology,” Imax CEO Richard Gelond told Variety, adding that the high theater traffic at such iconic locations is what helps pay for the cost of installation, which varies on the number of lasers being used. (The larger the theater, the more lasers required.)
Gelfond said the Imax laser technology is distinguished primarily based on two business tracks: Firstly, the exclusive technology, partnering with Kodak and Barco, works with screens that are 80 feet or larger, as well as dome locations, creating stark differences in projected blacks on screen. Imax and its partners have spent roughly $40 million developing the technology.
“The system is designed to be very filmmaker friendly,” Gelfond said.
Meanwhile, the sales side extends the laser systems to four continents (North America, Europe, Asia and Australia). Additionally, a recent signing in Qatar marks the company’s first laser projector to be installed in the Middle East.
The first two laser projectors will be installed at commercial locations later this year.