IMAX China stops exclusive one-film deals

March 11, 2013 – 6:53 pm

The Hollywood Reporter writes:

Chinese moviegoers will soon be provided with a choice at the country’s Imax cinemas, as the chain plans to end its practice of showing only one film at a time on all its screens in the country.

Imax China “will no longer sign so-called exclusive deals,” the company’s CEO, Chen Jiande, told The Beijing News. “We have to respect the choices made by the market and by audiences, as this is how it has been done around the world.”

The decision arrives three months after the furor that erupted when Ang Lee’s Life of Pi, which was released in China on Nov. 22, was yanked from the large-format screens after only a weeklong run – a result of the chain’s previously signed deal with Huayi Brothers, which stipulated that Feng Xiaogang’s Back to 1942 would be shown on its screens when it opened Nov. 29.

Feng and Huayi were then roundly criticized in the Chinese blogosphere for acting like bullies and forcing the chain to pull Life of Pi from its screens, which led to the director accusing Imax China of whipping up a media frenzy.

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