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Third Installment of Harry Potter Film Series to Be Released As IMAX Film

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Written by: IMAX Corporation
Date: December 18, 2003

  

Category: Press Releases

LOS ANGELES, Dec. 18, 2003 -- IMAX Corporation (Nasdaq: IMAX; TSX: IMX) and Warner Bros. Pictures today announced that Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, the third installment of the Harry Potter film series, will be released to IMAX(R) theatres in addition to conventional theatres in June 2004. This family event film, based on the third book of the world renowned and best-selling series, will be digitally re-mastered into the unparalleled image and sound quality of The IMAX Experience(R) through proprietary IMAX(R) DMR(TM) (Digital Re-mastering) technology.

This deal represents the second IMAX DMR film commitment from Warner Bros. Pictures in the last year, and comes on the heels of the successful performances of the second and third chapters of The Matrix trilogy in IMAX theatres. Based on the best-selling series of books by J.K. Rowling, the first two movies in the Harry Potter series broke worldwide records with a combined box-office gross of nearly $1.9 billion. Warner Bros. Pictures is to be the exclusive distributor of Harry Potter to IMAX theatres worldwide.

"Our partnership with IMAX has been extremely rewarding and has allowed our films to expand their reach beyond our traditional audiences by offering viewers a whole new way to see Hollywood event films that is uniquely immersive and exciting," said Dan Fellman, President, Domestic Distribution, Warner Bros. Pictures. "We are so pleased that this summer, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, which lends itself beautifully to IMAX's format, will play throughout the IMAX theatre network. Besides Harry Potter and The Prisoner of Azkaban, we are discussing an IMAX(R) 3D release of Polar Express in November 2004, and an IMAX DMR release of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory in the summer of 2005."

"We are thrilled to be expanding our mutually beneficial partnership with Warner Bros. Pictures that began with the successful release of the last two chapters in The Matrix trilogy," said Richard L. Gelfond and Bradley J. Wechsler, Co-Chairmen and Co-CEOs, IMAX Corporation. "This announcement is yet another indication that we are achieving our goal of bringing the very best Hollywood event films to IMAX theatres, which we believe is key to expanding the IMAX network around the world. Our research has shown us that moviegoers want to see blockbuster films in IMAX's format and are paying a premium price for the experience. We believe that the magic of Harry Potter The Prisoner of Azkaban will translate into an amazing cinematic adventure in IMAX theatres, and will continue the strong performances of IMAX DMR releases to date."

"We are very excited to bring the adventure and fantasy of Harry Potter to life on the giant IMAX screen," said David Heyman, producer of the Harry Potter film series. "When Alfonso Cuaron, the film's director, and I, saw IMAX DMR, we knew we had to release this film in IMAX theatres, as it will bring a whole new perspective to this magical story. Whether they've read all of the Harry Potter novels and seen the first two films, or are just now immersing themselves in the world of Harry Potter, fans will amplify their experience with IMAX's exceptional and immersive cinematic presentation."

Warner Bros. Pictures and IMAX will also be distributing the first-ever 3D motorsports film, NASCAR 3D: The IMAX Experience starting March 12, 2004. Narrated by Kiefer Sutherland and starring the drivers of NASCAR, NASCAR 3D: The IMAX Experience will put moviegoers in the driver's seat in an unprecedented way through the magic of IMAX 3D technology.

About IMAX Corporation:

Founded in 1967, IMAX Corporation is one of the world's leading entertainment technology companies. IMAX's businesses include the creation and delivery of the world's best cinematic presentations using proprietary IMAX and IMAX 3D technology, and the development of the highest quality digital production and presentation. IMAX has developed revolutionary technology called IMAX DMR (Digital Re-mastering) that makes it possible for any 35mm film to be transformed into the unparalleled image and sound quality of The IMAX Experience. The IMAX brand is recognized throughout the world for extraordinary and immersive family experiences. As of September 30 2003, there were more than 235 IMAX theatres operating in 36 countries.

IMAX(R), IMAX(R) 3D, IMAX(R)DMR(TM) and The IMAX Experience(R) are trademarks of IMAX Corporation. More information on the Company can be found at www.imax.com.

This press release contains forward-looking statements that are based on management assumptions and existing information and involve certain risks and uncertainties which could cause actual results to differ materially from future results expressed or implied by such forward looking statements. Important factors that could affect these statements include the timing of theatre system deliveries, the mix of theatre systems shipped, the timing of the recognition of revenues and expenses on film production and distribution agreements, the performance of films, the viability of new businesses and products, and fluctuations in foreign currency and in the large format and general commercial exhibition market. These factors and other risks and uncertainties are discussed in the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K/A for the year ended December 31, 2002 and in the subsequent reports filed by the Company with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

For additional information please contact:

Media: IMAX Corporation, New York, Romi Schutzer, 212-821-0144, rschutzer@imax.com

Analysts: IMAX Corporation, New York, Jennifer Gery, 212-821-0144, jgery@imax.com

Warner Bros. Pictures, Los Angeles, Stacy Ivers, 818-954-6228, stacy.ivers@warnerbros.com

Business Media: Sloane & Company, New York, Whit Clay, 212-446-1864, wclay@sloanepr.com

Entertainment Media: Newman & Company, Los Angeles, Al Newman, 818-784-2130, asn@newman-co.com

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