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Imax and Mainframe join forces to produce bigscreen 3D films

Imax Corp. has agreed to make a strategic investment in Vancouver-based Mainframe Entertainment, producers of the 3D computer-animated REBOOT and BEAST WARS. The company will invest CAN$16 million (U.S.$10.6 million) into Mainframe to acquire an equity and convertible senior debt, giving Imax an approximate 30% stake in the company. As part of the deal, Imax and Mainframe will co-produce 3D animated films for release in IMAX theaters and other markets. Their first collaboration, GULLIVER'S TRAVELS, is expected to be released to IMAX theaters by summer 2001. Imax co-Chief Executive Officers Brad Wechsler and Rich Gelfond stated, "We believe that 3D animation will be an integral part of Imax's future." Three films that are in development at Mainframe, GULLIVER'S TRAVELS, THE PIED PIPER and PANDORA'S BOX, will continue their development as part of Imax and Mainframe's co-production venture. Wechsler and Gelfond point out, "This partnership with Mainframe allows us to create, produce and distribute our own 3D animation content cost-effectively, and cross-platform that content into other markets." Mainframe's President Ian Pearson points out an additional goal of this alliance: "We share Imax's vision that 3D CGI - whether it's A BUG'S LIFE, ANTZ or a Mainframe creation - will look exquisite when shown in real stereoscopic 3D in an IMAX theater." Feature-length 3D movies can efficiently be reformatted from conventional 35mm to Imax 3D theaters at a cost of $6-8 million. This agreement is still subject to Board and regulatory approvals, as well as approval by Mainframe's shareholders.

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