May 21, 2014—In support of its institutional theatre network, IMAX Corporation (NYSE: IMAX, TSX: IMX) today announced the creation of the IMAX Original Film Fund (Fund) to co-finance a portfolio of 10 original large-format films. The Fund, which will be capitalized at up to $50 million, will finance an ongoing supply of educational documentaries that push the envelope of traditional documentary filmmaking for a new generation of moviegoers.
The initial investment in the Fund was committed to by the Knights of Columbus in the amount of $25 million, with the possibility of continuing beyond that level. Since 1882, the Knights of Columbus has supported a diverse range of charitable and educational initiatives in addition to offering top-rated life insurance, annuity and long-term care programs that have helped protect members and their families. The Knights of Columbus' investment in the IMAX Original Film Fund is not only expected to support these programs, but is also aligned with the family-friendly content that these educational programs provide.
"The Knights of Columbus is pleased to partner with IMAX in this fund, both as a financial investment and as an investment in future generations through the creation of family-friendly entertainment," said Knights of Columbus CEO Carl Anderson. "We very much look forward to helping to facilitate the creation and dissemination of high-quality IMAX content."
Through the Fund, IMAX will be able to provide new digital content to its institutional partners in the form of educational documentaries that employ cutting-edge, innovative filmmaking techniques and embrace fresh new perspectives in documentary storytelling. The Company, which will contribute $9 million over five years, anticipates the IMAX Original Film Fund will be self-perpetuating, with a portion of box office proceeds reinvested into the Fund to generate a continuous, steady flow of high-quality documentary content.
"From the development of technology for our upcoming laser projection system to the financing and production of digital content through the IMAX Original Film Fund, we remain firmly committed to the success of our institutional partners," said Robert D. Lister, Chief Business Development Officer, IMAX Corp. "The strong support of Knights of Columbus in establishing the Fund will ensure that we are able to deliver a sustainable flow of the highest-quality large-format documentaries—exclusive to IMAX® theatres. We believe that the combination of laser technology and a steady flow of the best new educational content will offer our institutional customers a huge competitive advantage that will serve as a catalyst for future growth."
The IMAX Original Film Fund builds on IMAX's 45-year legacy of excellence in documentary filmmaking that has yielded some of the most critically acclaimed, highest-grossing titles ever produced including The Dream is Alive (1985), the highest-grossing IMAX film ever produced and Space Station 3D (2002) the first-ever IMAX 3D space film. IMAX has distribution rights to 46 IMAX Original Films that have been released over more than 40 years and have received 10 Academy Award® nominations.
"Many people grew up having their first IMAX Experience® at a museum, science center or aquarium. The IMAX Original Film Fund is the natural evolution of our legacy of groundbreaking documentary filmmaking—reimagined—with today's students, educators and audiences in mind," said Greg Foster, Senior Executive Vice President, IMAX Corp. and CEO of IMAX Entertainment. "We will fund projects that showcase new approaches, techniques and innovations in documentary filmmaking that will redefine what is possible for the genre while staying true to our mission of producing films that inspire and educate audiences about the wonders of our universe and act as a catalyst for change."
The Fund will be managed by Patrician Capital Management. The Fund transaction was handled by MESA, a boutique investment bank specializing in media and entertainment.
About Knights of Columbus
Knights of Columbus is a fraternal benefit society founded in 1882 in New Haven, Conn., to protect the financial futures of Catholic families and to engage in charitable activity. The organization offers top-rated life insurance to its members and their immediate families, and with its rating of A++ (Superior) from A.M. Best, no life insurer in North America is more highly rated. This year, the Knights earned the distinction of being named a World's Most Ethical Company by the Ethisphere Institute.
Despite the recession and slow recovery, Knights of Columbus insurance sales have grown for 13 consecutive years, and it has logged $72 billion in new sales in the past decade for an annual growth rate of 4.6 percent, and an 89 percent growth in insurance business in that same period.
Members of the Knights of Columbus are organized in 15,000 councils around the world and are a strong charitable force within their communities, donating more than $167.5 million and 70 million hours to charitable causes last year alone. More information is available at: www.kofc.org, Facebook (www.facebook.com/knightsofcolumbus), Twitter, (www.twitter.com/kofc) and YouTube (www.youtube.com/knightsofcolumbus)
About IMAX Corporation
IMAX, an innovator in entertainment technology, combines proprietary software, architecture and equipment to create experiences that take you beyond the edge of your seat to a world you've never imagined. Top filmmakers and studios are utilizing IMAX theatres to connect with audiences in extraordinary ways, and, as such, IMAX's network is among the most important and successful theatrical distribution platforms for major event films around the globe.
IMAX is headquartered in New York, Toronto and Los Angeles, with offices in London, Tokyo, Shanghai and Beijing. As of March 31, 2014, there were 840 IMAX theatres (707 commercial multiplexes, 18 commercial destinations and 115 institutions) in 57 countries.
IMAX®, IMAX® 3D, IMAX DMR®, Experience It In IMAX®, An IMAX 3D Experience®, The IMAX Experience®, IMAX Is Believing® and IMAX nXos® are trademarks of IMAX Corporation. More information about the Company can be found at www.imax.com. You may also connect with IMAX on Facebook (www.facebook.com/imax), Twitter (www.twitter.com/imax) and YouTube (www.youtube.com/imaxmovies).
Source: IMAX Corporation