IMAX continues China expansion

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Canada-based, IMAX Corp. announced plans to further expand their footprint in China. They will build 75 theatres there over the next few years. The IMAX screen is well known here in North America for its superior size and image quality. It is also known to be more expensive than going to a regular movie theatre. This move is important not only for IMAX, but for the entire film industry.

In recent years some people have been predicting the eventual demise of people going to a movie theatre. It is true that more people are watching movies at home via downloads than before. This is a trend that will likely continue to grow. However, I still believe movie theatres are here to stay, although they may see smaller audiences at times. China has big plans for growth in this industry in addition to the IMAX plans. They hope to eventually have a similar number of movie theatres as we have in North America. This will inject a lot of life into the movie industry. It will also likely mean that some movies will be made specifically for a Chinese market as they don’t necessarily have the same taste as we do. This is¬†especially¬†true for the Chinese government which often bans Hollywood films for various reasons.

For IMAX this movie theatre expansion is another spoke in the wheel of their overall China expansion strategy. About 14 months ago I wrote about IMAX’s portable movie theatres that can go to any part of China (click here to read it). They seem to have a solid plan for sustainable growth in China which will yield a lot of profits in the years to come.

Movies are an important method of generating national pride and exporting culture. The United States is by far the best country in the world at this and in time I can see China looking to follow in their foot steps. The question will be whether people outside of China will accept it.