State owned film enterprise China Film Group (CFGC) has agreed a two-theatre deal with IMAX.

The first system is scheduled for installation in the city of Shenzhen in 2011, the second in Ningbo in 2012.

“Our first IMAX location, which opened in January, has improved the performance of our complex by delivering incremental box office returns and a broader range of Hollywood films, and we’re looking forward to IMAX releasing important Chinese films, such as John Woo’s Flying Tigers,” said Mr. Han Sanping, Chairman of China Film Group Corporation. “We are very pleased to expand our relationship with IMAX.”

IMAX’s Chief Executive Officer Richard L. Gelfond commented from Shanghai: “As a studio and exhibitor, China Film Group is an excellent strategic partner for IMAX. We’re very pleased to expand our relationship with them to feed consumer demand in China with more locations and a broader range of content for Chinese moviegoers.”

Don Savant, Senior vice president & managing director, Asia Pacific added, “We believe the recent performance of Inception in IMAX 2D demonstrated Chinese consumers’ appetite for the premium IMAX experience with sixteen IMAX theatres generating approximately 7 percent of the total China box office on 0.0037 percent of the 3,816 total movie screens exhibiting the film.”

Today’s agreement brings the total number of IMAX theatres to be operated by China Film Group to three by the end of 2012 and the total number of IMAX theatres scheduled to be operating in China to 67 by 2014. The number of theatre systems signings year-to-date has increased to 130 worldwide, compared to 35 system signings in 2009.

CFGC facilitates film production, distribution and exhibition and integrates film, TV and video platforms. The group is the sole importer of foreign theatrical movies in China and a major exporter of Chinese films.

CFGC has distributed The Redcliff, Forever and Enthralled, The Warlords, The Promise, The Curse of Golden Flowers, The Fearless and The Banquet.

In recent years the group has formed seven cinema circuits with equity investment and contracted more than 400 theatres, which accounts for 40% market share of Chinese box-office.