Pathe Cinemas, a leading exhibitor in continental Europe, and IMAX Corporation announced Monday a significant expansion to their historical partnership with five new state-of-the-art IMAX with Laser systems in Europe, including four in France. The new agreement also spans distribution, with IMAX and Pathe Live, Pathe’s subsidiary dedicated to production and distribution of event cinema, set to release three upcoming films across the IMAX network.
The first of the three films under the deal will be the first-ever ‘Filmed for IMAX’ classical ballet stage performance released in cinemas. Co-produced by Paris Opera and Pathe Live and distributed worldwide by Pathe Live, Rudolf Nureyev’s choreographed ballet Swan Lake will be performed by the Paris Opera Ballet and filmed next summer with IMAX-certified cameras for a targeted global release at the end of 2024. In 2022, IMAX and Pathe Live successfully collaborated on the first concert ever to be released through the ‘Filmed for IMAX’ camera program, Indochine’s Central Tour.
IMAX and Pathe Cinemas have enjoyed a partnership since 2010 and currently operate 26 locations together across France, the Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland, and Morocco. IMAX continues to drive significant box office results in France — a top-ten market for the company — and remains on-pace to match its highest grossing year ever at the French box office, set in 2019.
The five new Pathe Cinemas locations will be equipped with IMAX with Laser, IMAX’s most advanced theatre experience. Immersive by design, IMAX with Laser has been developed to deliver crystal clear, lifelike images, and precision audio. The 4K laser projection system features a new optical engine, custom designed lenses, and a suite of proprietary technology that delivers brighter images with increased resolution, deeper contrast, and the widest range of colors exclusively to IMAX screens.
“This agreement advances two key strategic priorities for IMAX: expanding our network in the thriving French cinema market and further diversifying our content portfolio across new experiences,” IMAX’s CEO Rich Gelfond said in a press release. “Pathe Cinemas continues to be one of our premier global strategic partners, as it expands one of the world’s most successful IMAX circuits and brings new cinematic experiences to its audiences through IMAX technology.”
“We are delighted to deepen our historical partnership with IMAX through this new agreement which represents a significant milestone in our strategic alliance,” Pathe Cinemas Chair Aurélien Bosc said in a separate press release. “Leveraging on the strong IMAX brand and its state-of-the-art technical features, we reinforce our premium strategy by offering moviegoers emotional experiences within our cinemas and the unique opportunity to watch exclusive live content in IMAX theaters.”