IMAX Corporation and United Cinemas have announced a joint venture agreement to instal up to five digital IMAX theatre systems in Japan.

Three of the systems are confirmed, with two scheduled to be installed in time for the launch of part one of Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows this November, and the third scheduled to be installed in either late 2010 or some time in 2011.

Under the terms of the agreement, the companies will have an option to instal two additional IMAX theatre systems in Japan at a later date.

The deal brings the total number of confirmed joint venture IMAX theatres scheduled to be operating in Japan by the end of 2010 to eight, compared to four at the end of 2009.

The deal brings to 92 the total number of announced IMAX systems signed year-to-date, compared to 35 system signings in 2009. 

Further system signings with UC could be on the cards. “We’re very much looking forward to working with UC to open these initial locations as well as exploring the possibility of additional locations,” IMAX CEO Richard Gelfond said.