Imax, Shanghai Film to open 19 huge screens in Chinese cinemas


AP

HONG KONG–Imax and China’s biggest state-owned film exhibitor are teaming up to open 19 giant screen cinemas in the world’s No. 2 movie market.

Imax Corp. and Shanghai Film Corp. said Tuesday that a “significant number” of the theaters will open before the end of 2015.

No financial terms were disclosed. Shanghai Film already operates three Chinese Imax theatres.

Box office revenues in China surged 27 percent last year to US$3.6 billion, making the country a crucial market for international film companies.

Government policies aimed at encouraging growth of Imax and 3-D movies are helping boost the format’s popularity in China’s tightly controlled film market.

“Transformers: Age of Extinction,” the latest installment of Michael Bay’s blockbuster robot film franchise, earned nearly US$10 million at Chinese Imax screens on its opening weekend, more than double the previous record, the company said.