Giant screen company Imax reached an agreement with Dubai-based Vox Cinemas for four theaters in Saudi Arabia, Imax announced early Tuesday. The theaters will be the first Imax outlets to show commercial films in Saudi Arabia.
Imax theaters provide a premium experience for customers, and their higher pricing has played an outsize role in growing the box office in several international markets, most notably China. Imax has gone from less than 50 to more than 500 screens in that country since 2011, and its theaters have provided a meaningful revenue boost to the blockbusters, both Hollywood and local, that have carried the Chinese box office to more than fourfold growth in that time period. In China, where the average moviegoer sees about one film a year, Imax has been worth the splurge. And when you’ve been waiting for more than 30 years like Saudis have, flying to Dubai or Bahrain to see movies, there should be plenty of demand for the biggest screen movie experience at home.