IMAX and Huayi Bros. Media today announced an agreement to release up to three pictures, beginning with the release of the highly-anticipated Chinese film Aftershock, to IMAX Theatres in China, other parts of Asia and key North American markets, beginning in July 2010. Directed by renowned film director, Feng Xiaogang, Aftershock will be the first Chinese-languange film and the first commercial film outside of the U.S. to be digitally re-mastered into the IMAX’s format.
The multi-picture agreement between IMAX and Huayi Bros. Media will capitalize on the growing size and scope of the IMAX theatre presence in China and throughout Asia. In addition, the agreement will allow both companies to bring additional Chinese films, to mainstream global audiences in the immersive format. IMAX anticipates that Aftershock will play in 25-30 IMAX theatres in Greater China and other parts of Asia when it opens next summer.
Aftershock will be released in China on July 28, 2010 and, as with all of director Feng Xiaogang’s films, it is anticipated to be among the biggest blockbusters of the year. The film centers on the life-changing moments and psychological dimensions of a seven year-old girl who survived the 1976 Tangshan earthquake, which killed more than 200,000 people.
IMAX developed a proprietary process to re-master films into IMAX’s format so that audiences can experience the adventure, drama and emotion of their favorite blockbusters with the unparalleled image and sound quality of The IMAX Experience. Known as IMAX DMR, this proprietary technology digitally enhances the image and sound quality of these films for exhibition in IMAX theatres. The resulting images have a level of clarity and sharpness that consumers expect from The IMAX Experience.
The IMAX theatre network has successfully exhibited dozens of Hollywood’s biggest films that have been digitally re-mastered into IMAX’s format in 2D and IMAX 3D. The new business relationship with Huyai Bros. is similar to those IMAX has with its studio partners in Hollywood.
Currently, the IMAX theatre network consists of more than 370 IMAX theatres in 43 countries. Close to one billion people have visited an IMAX theatre since the Company’s inception. China is IMAX’s largest international growth market with 18 theatres currently open and more than 40 scheduled to be open by the end of 2012.
Next up for IMAX will be the releases of Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen on June 24th, 2009 and Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince on July 15th 2009.