IMAX and AMC’s Odeon Cinemas Group, and its Nordic Cinema Group subsidiary, have entered a deal for 25 new theaters, marking the biggest European agreement in the large format company’s history. Under the pact, 25 IMAX theater systems will be deployed throughout the region with 10 already identified for the UK/Ireland, Germany, Spain and Italy. Those will be added to existing Odeon complexes. The remaining sites are to be determined throughout Western, Southern and Northern Europe.
The news comes as IMAX sees its widest release ever with The Fate Of The Furious going out on 1074 screens this weekend. That includes 386 in North America and 688 internationally, of which 392 are in China where the film recently set a new speed record to 10M RMB in IMAX pre-sales.
The joint revenue-sharing arrangement with AMC brings Odeon and Nordic Cinemas’ total IMAX commitment to 47 theaters. The exhibitors opened their first IMAX theater in 2008 in Greenwich, England, and today operate 15 in the UK, two in Spain and one each in Italy and Sweden. A further 28 are contracted to open.
Europe is a key box office market with room to grow IMAX. The format attracts strong per-screen averages in the UK and Germany, and this deal will see it move into under-penetrated areas of Germany as well as Italy, Spain and Scandinavia.
Owned by China’s Dalian Wanda Group, AMC is the world’s largest exhibitor with about 1,000 sites and 11,000 screens globally. It acquired UK-based Odeon & UCI Cinemas in a $1.2B deal that closed last November. Last month, it closed a $964M transaction to buy Stockholm-based Nordic Cinema Group, the largest cinema chain in the Nordic and Baltic regions.