Aeon Entertainment and IMAX Corporation have announced an agreement for seven new IMAX with Laser systems across Japan this year. Under the deal, all seven systems are scheduled to be installed in existing multiplexes by summer 2023. All in areas largely untapped by IMAX, this new expansion follows on the heels of the announcement Aeon and IMAX made at CinemaCon in April of 2022, which centered on two new locations outside Tokyo and Osaka.
IMAX has nearly tripled its network in Japan over the last decade, from just 16 locations in 2012 to the current 41. Japan was IMAX’s third highest grossing global market in 2022 with more than $73M at the box office and the home to six of the company’s top 15 highest grossing locations worldwide. 31 IMAX locations in Japan generated a box office total of more than $1M during 2022, a figure that’s second only to IMAX’s US market. IMAX has generated 20% of the current total Japanese box office for Avatar: The Way of Water and Top Gun: Maverick scored $18M on IMAX screens in Japan, becoming the second highest grossing IMAX title ever in Japan.
IMAX earned a record $40.2M in global box office with Japanese language releases in 2022, which is an increase of 26% over 2021. Japanese anime has emerged as a particularly strong growth area for IMAX, from the recent Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero and One Piece Film: Red to 2020’s Demon Slayer, the highest grossing IMAX film of all time in Japan. Upcoming Japanese titles releasing in IMAX include next month’s Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba — To the Swordsmith Village.
“We look forward to expanding our partnership with IMAX, a provider of innovative entertainment technology, to provide strong support for our mission of enhancing the value of the theater-going experience,” commented Yasuhiro Asada, the president and representative director of Aeon Entertainment. “We will continue to actively introduce the latest equipment and services that will add value to our theaters.”
“Japan continues to be an incredible market for IMAX, and we’re very pleased that AEON is taking the opportunity to rapidly expand our partnership and bring the IMAX experience to even more of its customers,” said Rich Gelfond, chief executive officer of IMAX. “From expansion in Japan to our record-breaking results with Avatar: The Way of Water, to the strong, diversified global slate ahead, 2023 is already beginning to deliver on the great promise it holds for IMAX and our business.”