NEW YORK, June 18, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — IMAX Corporation (NYSE: IMAX; TSX:IMX) today announced an agreement with Caspian Capital Limited to open an IMAX® theatre in Azerbaijan, marking IMAX’s entry into the country. The theatre will be installed in the capital city of Baku into a new construction project slated to open in October 2012. Today’s agreement brings to 50 the total number of IMAX theatres open or contracted to open in Russia and the CIS.
Since entering Russia and the CIS in 2003, the region has become the Company’s third-largest market and one of its fastest-growing globally. Today, there are 24 theatres open (20 in Russia and four in the CIS) with 26 in backlog. This region is also home to some of IMAX’s highest-grossing theatres in the world, with a 2011 per-screen average of approximately $1.7 million.
“We are proud to be the first to bring IMAX to audiences in Azerbaijan,” said General Director of Caspian Capital Emin Mammadov. “IMAX’s slate of Hollywood blockbusters coupled with its immersive format is sure to thrill fans and revolutionize the movie-going experience for audiences across the country.”
“We are pleased to partner with Caspian Capital to introduce IMAX to audiences in Azerbaijan,” said IMAX CEO Richard L. Gelfond. “Our entry into the country reflects the growing international appeal of the IMAX brand and we anticipate that today’s announcement will set the stage for even greater opportunities for IMAX in the CIS.”
About Caspian Capital Limited
Сaspian Capital Limited is an investment group that is building a chain of modern multiplex theaters and related businesses such as game zones, cafes & restaurants in Azerbaijan.
The first multiplex Park Cinema (parkcinema.az) opened in Baku, Azerbaijan on October 16, 2010.
About IMAX Corporation
IMAX Corporation is one of the world’s leading entertainment and technology companies, specializing in the creation and delivery of premium, awe-inspiring entertainment experiences. With a growing suite of cutting-edge motion picture and sound technologies, and a globally recognized entertainment brand, IMAX is singularly situated at the convergence of the entertainment industry, innovation and the digital media world. The industry’s top filmmakers and studios are utilizing IMAX theatres to connect with audiences in extraordinary ways, and as such, the IMAX network is among the most important and successful theatrical distribution platforms for major event films around the globe. The Company’s new digital projection and sound systems – combined with a growing blockbuster film slate – are fueling the rapid expansion of the IMAX network in established markets such as North America, Western Europe, and Japan, as well as emerging markets such as China and Russia. IMAX deliver the world’s best cinematic presentations using proprietary IMAX®, IMAX 3D®, and IMAX DMR® (Digital Re-Mastering) technologies. IMAX DMR enables virtually any motion picture to be transformed into the unparalleled image and sound quality of The IMAX Experience®.
IMAX is headquartered in New York, Toronto and Los Angeles, with offices in London, Tokyo, Shanghai and Beijing. As of March 31, 2012, there were 643 IMAX theatres (510 commercial multiplex, 20 commercial destination and 113 institutional) in 52 countries.
IMAX®, IMAX® 3D, IMAX DMR®, Experience It In IMAX®, An IMAX 3D Experience® and The IMAX Experience® are trademarks of IMAX Corporation. More information about the Company can be found at www.imax.com. You may also connect with IMAX on Facebook (www.facebook.com/imax), Twitter (www.twitter.com/imax) and YouTube (www.youtube.com/imaxmovies).
This press release contains forward looking statements that are based on IMAX management’s assumptions and existing information and involve certain risks and uncertainties which could cause actual results to differ materially from future results expressed or implied by such forward looking statements. Important factors that could affect these statements include, but are not limited to, general economic, market or business conditions, including the length and severity of the current economic downturn, the performance of IMAX DMR films, the opportunities that may be presented to and pursued by IMAX, competitive actions by other companies, conditions in the in-home and out-of home entertainment industries, the signing of theatre system agreements, changes in law or regulations, conditions, changes and developments in the commercial exhibition industry, the failure to respond to changes and advancements in digital technology, the failure to convert theatre system backlog into revenue, new business initiatives, investments and operations in foreign jurisdictions and any future international expansion, the inability to protect IMAX’s intellectual property foreign currency fluctuations and IMAX’s prior restatements and the related litigation. These factors and other risks and uncertainties are discussed in IMAX’s most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and most recent Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q.
UPDATE: More on the upcoming Azerbaijan IMAX:
The Hollywood Reporter: Imax Sells First Theater to Azerbaijan as Russian Footprint Grows
The Canadian Press: IMAX to open three new theatre systems in Russia