Imax and Wanda Film, China’s largest exhibitor, have announced a nine-theater deal spanning key Chinese markets, including Shanghai, Shenzhen, and Guangzhou, among others. Under the agreement, six new Imax systems will be installed in newly built multiplexes, while Wanda will relocate and upgrade three of its existing Imax systems to new multiplexes yet to be opened.
The partnership between Wanda and Imax dates back to 2007, when Wanda Cinema opened its first IMAX theatre in Dongguan, China; in 2016, the pair of companies inked a deal for 150 theaters. Today’s agreement is Imax’s first for more than five new theaters in China since February 2021.
“Wanda Film is among our biggest and most dynamic partners in the world, and this agreement further enhances the value of our longstanding relationship with a strong slate of local language and Hollywood releases ahead,” said Rich Gelfond, CEO of Imax. “This expansion of our biggest partnership in China is a great sign that this critical theatrical market is recovering and ready to reclaim its position as a global box office powerhouse.”
Wanda boasts the most Imax locations in China, with 371 Imax theaters in operation and another 23 in backlog. IMAX also enjoys a longstanding partnership with Wanda Pictures—the company’s production and distribution arm—on blockbuster releases, including the record-breaking 2021 Filmed for IMAX title Detective Chinatown 3.