Imax is expanding its next-generation projection system into multiplexes, unveiling deals at CinemaCon that will see its Imax with Laser 4K system installed in 87 AMC locations and 55 Cineworld/Regal locations in the U.S. and Europe by 2022. The large-screen exhibitor says it has now signed agreements for more than 150 of its new laser systems worldwide.
Terms of the pacts include AMC and Cineworld include renewed 12-year lease terms, and the chains will renovate the designated locations to add Imax’s 12-channel immersive sound, plush rocker seating, redesigned entryways and in-theater branding. For AMC, the new system will be installed in the highest-performing Imax at AMC locations, which operate under a joint revenue sharing arrangement. For Cineworld, the companies will add Imax with Laser to 26 new theaters and upgrade 29 of its existing Imax sites (15 currently open and 14 sites in backlog).
Installations are set to begin this year for the new system, which compared with traditional projection systems offers more pristine images with deeper blacks and a wider range of colors, the latter key to filmmakers shooting directly in the Imax format (including the upcoming Avengers: Infinity War which was entirely shot in Imax).
“The next-generation of IMAX with Laser represents a technological breakthrough years in the making aimed at delivering consumers a bold, more differentiated Imax blockbuster moviegoing experience,” Imax CEO Richard Gelfond said in announcing the deals today. He added: “We believe this powerful new product will over time help ensure that Imax remains the premium cinematic experience of choice among moviegoers, studios, filmmakers and theater partners alike.”
As of December 31, there were 1,370 Imax theater systems in 75 countries.