Huayi Brothers has signed a deal to install Imax screens at three of its cinemas in China. Giant screens will be added at existing Huayi Brothers Cinema multiplexes in Beijing and Wuhan, and to a new-build project in Hefei.
Imax and Huayi have previously been involved in film production, but not in exhibition. Huayi’s Feng Xiaogang-directed “Aftershock,” was the first Imax local-language DMR title and was one of China’s highest-grossing films of 2010, grossing $102 million.
In 2012 Huayi committed to making eight titles in the Imax format. It has now made Chinese-language Imax releases “Tai Chi 0,” “Tai Chi Hero,” “Back to 1942” and “Chinese Zodiac” in 2012, “Journey to the West” and “Young Detective Dee” in 2013 and the recent hit “Dragon Blade” in 2015.
Huayi expanded into cinema operation in 2010. Its Huayi Brothers Cinema Investment company now has 15 complexes in 11 cities including Chongqing, Beijing, Shanghai, Wuhan and Shenzhen.
“As the first Chinese and international studio to remaster a blockbuster film to the Imax format, Huayi Brothers has played an important role in our evolution and success in China. Today’s agreement builds on this success and marks a new chapter in our strategic relationship,” said Don Savant, Imax managing director Asia Pacific, in a prepared statement.