Chinese cinema chain Jiangsu Omnijoi has struck a deal to install an additional 40 IMAX giant-screen theaters across its network. The deal expands Omnijoi’s planned IMAX theater base to 72 screens.
The theater systems are to be located in new multiplexes across Tier 1 to Tier 4 cities in China. The company expects the majority of the sites to open by the end of 2020, with the remainder to open within the following year.
Omnijoi Cinemas opened its first IMAX theater in Suzhou in 2011 and currently has 16 in operation and 56 slated to open, including those under the new agreement.
“IMAX has helped us secure sites in our most desired locations,” said Huang Bin, deputy general manager of Omnijoi Film Television Culture Group and general manager of Jiangsu Omnijoi Cinema Development. Already one of China’s top 10 cinema chains, Omnijoi and its affiliates have 215 complexes in operation with 1,254 screens and about 169,000 seats. The company plans to build 150 more commercial complexes with a further 2,500 screens.
“Today’s agreement not only brings our year-to-date signings in China to 72 theaters, but adds to our growing number of joint revenue-sharing arrangements in China, which allows us to share in recurring box0office revenue. We believe our accelerated network expansion, coupled with the strong 2017 film slate ahead, will support our continued growth in our largest market,” said Rich Gelfond, IMAX’s CEO.
China is now the largest single market for IMAX, which established IMAX China as a separate subsidiary in 2011. The company has over more than commercial theaters in operation in China.