IMAX and exhibitor and mall operator SM Prime Holdings have struck a deal to install five digital IMAX projection systems at SM shopping centres across the Philippines.

The new theatres will be located in Las Piñas City, Fort Bonifacio, Davao City, Angeles City and Manila.

Three of the IMAX theatre systems are expected to be installed in 2011 and two in 2012.

“The tremendous success of our first two IMAX theatres demonstrates how consumers in the Philippines love The IMAX Experience, and based on this success, the next logical step for our business is to add more locations,” said Hans Sy, President, SM Prime Holdings Inc.

“SM’s commitment to add five additional locations demonstrates how the success of our theatre business model is driving repeat business from our existing exhibition partners. We also believe that an endorsement from a prominent and successful IMAX operator will further stimulate exhibitor interest in the IMAX business in the Asia-Pacific region,” added IMAX’s Chief Executive Officer Richard L. Gelfond.

The deal follows the market success of SM’s two existing IMAX theatres in Manila and Quezon, with the IMAX Manila ranking as the highest grossing screen in the country. For the recent release of Toy Story 3, the two current IMAX screens generated a per screen average that was more than seven times the national per screen average for the film.

SM will also open another location under a previous agreement in the city of Cebu this month in time for the release of Inception.

The new theatre deal brings the total number of IMAX system deals announced this year to 89, which compares to 35 system signings in 2009.