Cannes: Imax Plans to Triple Footprint in France as Box Office Recovers From COVID

Imax is gearing up to expand its presence in France, with plans to triple the number of screens in the country from 22 to more than 60.

The news, which was announced at Cannes Film Festival, comes as the box office in France continues to recover from the pandemic. Although the global box office hasn’t fully rebounded from COVID, Imax ticket sales have been surging. That’s because when audiences are finding the time to leave the house for a movie, they’re preferring to watch it in the best possible quality.

Thanks to “Avatar: The Way of Water,” Imax delivered its best first quarter ever at the French box office with $9.3 million in 2023. That’s on the heels of its highest-grossing quarter of all time in France with $9.5 million at the end of 2022. James Cameron’s blockbuster sequel currently stands as Imax’s highest-grossing film of all time in France with $13.5 million — more than triple its next biggest movie.

At the same time, Imax has continued to increase its pipeline of local French films, including 2022’s “Notre-Dame on Fire,” which is the first French film shot with Imax cameras, as well as 2023’s “The Three Musketeers: D’Artangan.”

Imax also shared on Wednesday a new agreement with Belgian exhibitor Kinepolis for eight new and upgraded systems, including one new system in Nimes, France.

“In a year in which Imax continues to drive very strong sales activity, this agreement marks our biggest multi-territory deal to date — underscoring the surging demand for the Imax Experience across regions and even into new markets,” said Imax CEO Rich Gelfond. “Kinepolis is an outstanding international exhibitor and we look forward to serving more of their customers across the world as the company deepens its commitment to providing the best possible cinematic experiences.”

Kinepolis Group CEO Eddy Duquenne adds, “Moviegoers increasingly expect premium movie experiences and we know from our customers IMAX meets those expectations in every way.”

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