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IMAX Makes Biggest New Theater Deal Yet With Wanda in China

The large-screen format exhibitor is adding 150 new theaters there by 2022

IMAX and Wanda announced a new deal to add 150 new theaters in China on Tuesday, marking the largest new theater deal for IMAX ever.

The agreement, which is set to build the new theaters over the next six years, will bring the total number of IMAX screens in China to 360 by 2022.

The new deal marks yet another move by Wanda Cinema Line, China’s largest theater chain, to expand its footprint in the country. The news follows Monday’s announcement of plans to add 4,000 RealD screens to its theaters, the largest 3D installation in the history of the format.

“This is a landmark development in IMAX’s history and a strategic linchpin in our growth strategy, particularly as we’ve seen over time that signings lead to installs, higher box office and ultimately more revenue,” said IMAX CEO Richard L. Gelfond in a statement. “It not only strengthens our market-leading position in China, the world’s fastest-growing film market, but also reinforces our strong working relationship with Wanda Cinema, one of our most important business partners, and speaks to the value Wanda places on the IMAX business.”

“We cannot overstate the strategic importance of our IMAX relationship,” added John Zeng, President of Wanda Cinema Line. “Our partnership has been instrumental to Wanda’s tremendous growth and our track record as China’s box-office market leader for seven years running”