The deal covers a combination of new and existing complexes across China. Half will be opened by next year and the contract completed by 2023.
Significantly, IMAX and JinYi agreed to vary the terms of their agreement according to the scale of the cities where the new screens are to be opened. Deals vary from those where the cinema operator is essentially a buyer of the kit to those where IMAX and the operator are joint venture partners and share revenues.
“This agreement reflects a more flexible deal structure approach in China that IMAX will examine on a market-by-market basis, particularly as it relates to expanding our presence in smaller cities,” IMAX CEO Richard L. Gelfond said in a statement. “We believe this new approach will help us maximize the box office potential for each new theater added to our network.”
IMAX and JinYi first signed an agreement in 2009 for four IMAX theaters. In 2016, Jinyi became the second full joint-venture IMAX partner in China with the signing of a 40-theater revenue-share agreement. The new agreement brings JinYi’s total IMAX commitment to 90 theaters, with 32 theaters open and 58 contracted.
JinYi went public on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange last October. The company manages 2,000 screens across 350 subsidiary and affiliated cinemas in 21 Chinese provinces and four municipalities.