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IMAX to open 160 cinemas with China’s Wanda

August 2, 2016

North American entertainment giant IMAX Corp. said Tuesday it plans to open 150 new cinemas in China after reaching agreement with Chinese conglomerate Wanda Group, in its largest ever new theatre deal.

The agreement brings Wanda’s commitment for IMAX cinemas in China to 360, according to an IMAX statement, in a partnership that dates back to 2007.

Owned by billionaire Wang Jianlin, Wanda is seeking to shift its focus from property to services and entertainment as profits wane in China’s real estate sector.

This month Wanda announced it had bought the London-based Odeon & UCI cinema group in a deal worth around $1.2 billion.

And in May it launched operations at its first theme park, a $3.4 billion project in Nanchang, just weeks before US entertainment giant Disney opened a park in Shanghai, its first on the Chinese mainland.

IMAX, headquartered both in the United States and Canada, now has 1,102 cinemas in 69 countries, with a total of 335 already open in China.

Dispatches from AFP concerning freedom of information, censorship and news coverage in regions where independent media is under threat.