Imax Corporation (NYSE:IMAX) has struck a deal with Shanghai Film Corporation to open 19 giant-screen cinemas in China, which has surpassed the U.S. to become the Canadian company’s No. 1 market globally.
The new screens, which have been planned with the state-owned Chinese film company, will reportedly open by the end of 2015. Imax, which currently runs more than 170 screens in the country, reportedly plans to open more than 230 screens by 2021. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, according to reports.
"We feel that U.S. investors don't fully understand the potential of the Chinese film market,” IMAX CEO Richard Gelfond said in an interview in April, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Imax benefited from the recent Paramount Pictures film "Transformers: Age of Extinction," the latest installment of Michael Bay's robot film franchise. The film brought in nearly $10 million in revenues for Imax, which is more than double the previous record for the opening weekend in China.
Box office revenues in China increased by 27 percent last year to $3.6 billion, while Imax and 3-D movies are gaining popularity in the country’s tightly-controlled film market.
In 2013, Imax’s global revenues increased nearly 2 percent to $287.9 million, according to the Journal.