Imax Corp. has increased to ten the number of giant-screen cinemas set to open in China by the year 2005, signing a deal with Shanghai United Cinema for two Imax MPX theatre systems.
MPX systems can screen both Imax 2D and 3D large-format films as well as its DMR-branded transfers of standard format films such as the recently released The Matrix Reloaded and the upcoming The Matrix Revolutions.
Both of the new systems will be installed at existing multiplexes, one in Shanghai, the other as yet to be determined location in southern China. MPX was designed to reduce expense of adding a new Imax cinema to an existing facility or retrofitting two adjoining stadium-seat auditoria into one Imax cinema.
In a statement, Shanghai United general manager Xu Xiaoping cited the example of The Matrix Reloaded: The Imax Experience, saying the ability to screen such films was its motivation for adding the new cinemas. Imax co-chairmen and co-CEOs Richard Gelfond and Bradley Wechsler said the deal further demonstrates the validity of the company's worldwide commercial strategy of showcasing large-screen versions of event films while streamlining construction of new cinemas.
If the deal receives Chinese government approval, it will be the first multiple commercial cinema agreement Imax has sealed in the country.