IMAX Corporation and Majid Al Futtaim Cinemas, an operator of VOX Cinemas, have signed a hybrid joint revenue share agreement to add IMAX theatres in the Middle East.
The agreement is to launch three IMAX theatres in Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates, including two digital and one IMAX with laser system. The agreement brings to seven VOX Cinemas' total IMAX commitment with theatres currently open in the UAE, Lebanon and Oman.
VOX Cinemas' first IMAX theatre opened in 2015 at the exhibitor's flagship complex located within the landmark Mall of the Emirates in Dubai, UAE. Since its launch, the theatre, which features an IMAX with laser system, has become one of the highest-grossing IMAX sites in the world.
In September 2016, VOX Cinemas opened the first IMAX theatre in Lebanon, located in City Centre Beirut, and the first in Oman, located in City Centre Qurum, Muscat. Both sites have generated approximately 25% of the gross box office for all major blockbusters released in their respective markets since opening.
Richard L. Gelfond, IMAX CEO, said: "As the fastest-growing cinema chain in the Middle East, Majid Al Futtaim Cinemas is a strategic partner that is bringing IMAX to its flagship complexes in top tier locations. This is our third deal with Majid Al Futtaim in the last 24 months and based on our successful track record, we expect these future sites to be very strong performers.
"The Middle East remains a solid growth market for IMAX with per screen averages that are among the highest in the world. We believe that with strategic partners such as Majid Al Futtaim Cinemas, we will be able to seize the many growth opportunities that exist and further expand our footprint in this important market."
Cameron Mitchell, CEO of Majid Al Futtaim Cinemas, VOX Cinemas, said: "The performance of our current IMAX theatres has exceeded our expectations, driving further attendance and increasing the box office in both our new and existing complexes. These factors coupled with IMAX's immersive technology and strong recognition of the VOX Cinemas brand in the region have led us to today's agreement.
"IMAX supports our strategic focus on innovation and quality, driving VOX Cinemas' customer experience to create great moments for everyone, every day. Together we look forward to building more world-class cinemas throughout the Middle East."
IMAX with laser represents a quantum leap forward in cinema technology. The system, designed for IMAX screens 75 feet and above, provides audiences with vivid digital images combined with a whole new level of immersive audio.