Aeon Entertainment, a Japanese exhibition business, has expanded its alliance with the two-theater company.
Aeon Cinema Ichikawa Myoden originating from Tokyo and Aeon Cinema Shijonawate based near Osaka is expected to open new theaters with laser projection systems. The Japanese partnership follows major Cineplex and Imax expanding their own partnership with a purchase for three new Imax theaters with laser systems in the southeast Asian market, which comes amid the return of Asia's movie box office.
With its growing global blockbuster portfolio and huge box office returns, Japan is a flourishing market for cinema with some of the world's most passionate Imax fans, said Imax CEO Richard Gelfond in a statement on Tuesday as CinemaCon in Las Vegas kicks off.
In 2016, Aeon Entertainment negotiated a first huge screen theater agreement with Imax, which focused on Japan for growth as its third highest-grossing theater market in 2021. Imax's network has tripled in Japan in the last decade, from 13 screens in 2011 to 39 today.
"We are pleased that our extended partnership with Imax, an innovative technology for innovative cinematic experiences, will provide even greater value to our theatres," Yasuhiro Asada, the president and representative director of Aeon Entertainment, said in a statement.
In 2021, Imax's box office growth in Japan has sprung in large part by screening local films. Imax had a record $32.6 million at the global box office, compared to $2.5 million in 2017.
From the recent Jujutsu Kaisen 0 to the Demon Slayer in 2020, the most spectacular Imax film ever in Japan, are expected to release next Japanese films including Toho's Detective Conan: The Bride of Halloween, Shin-Ultraman, and Toei's Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero.