IMAX expands in Turkey, sees growth in European market

IMAX says it is seeing growth in Europe. Upcoming titles include Upcoming titles include Iron Man 3 and G.I. Joe: Retaliation.

IMAX says it is seeing growth in Europe. Upcoming titles include Upcoming titles include Iron Man 3 and G.I. Joe: Retaliation.

IMAX (TSX:IMX) today announced and agreement with Turkey’s largest cinema circuit owner, Mars Entertainment Group, to bring three more of its custom theatres to that country.

Mars Group management says the first two IMAX theatres, in Ankara and Istanbul, have outperformed expectations.

IMAX CEO Richard L. Gelfond said the company’s success in Turkey is part of a larger plan.

“We continue to deliver on our objective to expand our international footprint, and we believe there is increasing demand for IMAX theatres in Europe,” he said. “With a focus on tailoring our programming in international markets and partnering with leading international exhibitors, such as Mars Entertainment Group, we expect to set the stage for continued growth in Europe.”

Shares of IMAX have been on the March since last September, climbing from under $19 to more than $27. The company has had recent success with titles such as Les Miserables and “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey”, which grossed $15.1-million in 452 IMAX theatres on its opening weekend. Upcoming titles include Iron Man 3 and G.I. Joe: Retaliation.

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.

At press time, shares of IMAX on the TSX were up .5% to $27.40.

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