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S. Korea's CGV to open 15 IMAX theaters in China

All Headlines 13:48 November 09, 2012

By Kim Young-gyo

HONG KONG, Nov. 9 (Yonhap) -- CJ CGV, the operator of South Korea's largest multiplex cinema chain, will bring 15 IMAX theaters to China as part of its efforts to tap the fast-growing market of Chinese moviegoers, company officials said Friday.

CJ CGV Holding Ltd., South Korean cinema operator CJ CGV Co.'s wholly-owned subsidiary incorporated in Hong Kong, has agreed with IMAX Corp. to install 15 new IMAX theatres through new joint construction projects across China.

"We're delighted to expand our IMAX commitment and leverage this competitive advantage to support our aggressive expansion plans throughout China," Seo Jung, CEO of CJ CGV, said in a statement.

IMAX, the name of company, also refers a motion picture film format and a set of cinema projection standards created by the Canadian company. IMAX has the capacity to record and display images of far greater size and resolution than conventional film systems, the company says.

Meanwhile, CJ CGV, an affiliate of conglomerate CJ Group, has planned to increase the number of multiplexes across China to 60 from the current 11 by 2015. The number is expected to reach 15 by the end of this year, according to the officials.

It currently operates the theaters in Beijing, Shanghai, Wuhan, Tianjin, Fushun and Shenyang.

Due to its aggressive expansion plan in China, the company is expected to post losses in China this year and next year.

But its Chinese business will likely start turning a profit in 2014 as their Chinese multiplexes have turned profitable after one year of operation.

CJ CGV started to expand its business in China in 2006, forming a joint venture with the Chinese state-owned studio Shanghai Film Group.

Market watchers say China will overtake Japan as the world's second-biggest cinema market in 2012. Last year, China's box-office receipts grew 33.3 percent to 13.15 billion yuan (US$2.08 billion) with the market value reaching 17.25 billion yuan.

The number of China's cinema screens has increased from 4,753 in 2006 to 10,700 in 2011, according to data released by the Motion Picture Association of America.

Currently operating over 450 screens in South Korea, the South Korean firm opened its first overseas branch in China in 2006, and operates a 650-seat multiplex in Los Angeles. CJ CGV now has about 30 percent of the market share in South Korea.


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