IMAX signs deal with Warner Brothers, will do second Hobbit movie

Warner Brothers "Man of Steel" will be released on June 14, 2013.

Warner Brothers “Man of Steel” will be released on June 14, 2013.

IMAX (TSX:IMX) today announced it has signed a deal with Warner Brothers to release up to twenty Warner Brothers films in the IMAX format over the next three years.

The films include “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug”, which is expected to be released in December of next year, and “Rise of an Empire”, the sequel to the 2006 film 300, and “Man of Steel”, both of which will hit theatres next summer.

IMAX CEO Richard Gelfond says the Canadian company continues to increase its worldwide footprint:

“Our longstanding partnership with Warner Bros. has resulted in extraordinary experiences for IMAX audiences, and we’re excited to add these core additional titles to our upcoming film slate,” he said. “The growing network of IMAX theatres around the globe continues to enable all of our studio partners to deliver their films in a uniquely immersive way, and provide moviegoers with a premium way to experience the biggest movies.”

Mississauga-based IMAX originated at Expo ’67 in Montreal, when two of its co-founder’s films, which used multi-screen, multi-projector systems, did not work well. The pair decided to try and improve the technology, founding a company called Multiscreen, based on the technology of Australian inventor Ronald Jones. The technology eventually morphed into a large, single screen format and the company changed its name to IMAX. Today, there are more than 600 IMAX theatres in 52 countries.

Late in October, shares of IMAX rose after the company reported Q3 revenue of $80.7 million, 20% higher than $67.5 million it booked in the same period last year.

At press time, shares of IMAX on the TSX were down .8% to $21.68.

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