Imax Agrees to Exhibit 3-D Movies From DreamWorks

Imax Corp. (IMAX), the operator of giant- screen movie theaters, said it will show the first three 3-D films from DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc. starting in 2009.

The movies include ``Monsters vs. Aliens'' and ``How to Train Your Dragon'' in 2009, and ``Shrek Goes Forth'' in 2010, the companies said today in a statement. The 3-D titles will be simultaneously shown in conventional theaters as well.

The agreement ensures a source of 3-D films through 2010, Mississauga, Ontario-based Imax said, including the fourth installment of the popular ``Shrek'' series. Chief Executive Officer Richard Gelfond said the deal boosts the appeal of digital projectors the company sells to chains including Regal Entertainment Group.

``The fact that we've locked up content through 2010 makes the exhibitors comfortable that if they get into the Imax business, there's going to be content for the next several years,'' Gelfond said in an interview from New York.

Imax theaters will also show ``Kung Fu Panda,'' a 2-D DreamWorks Animation film, when it comes out in June 2008, the companies said. Films from Glendale, California-based DreamWorks Animation (DWA) are distributed by Viacom Inc.'s Paramount Pictures.

The accord will bring Imax's total 3-D Hollywood films to 12. It previously exhibited eight in 3-D that grossed a total of $254 million in box-office sales, according to data provided by the company. ``Beowulf,'' distributed in the U.S. by Paramount, opens Nov. 16 in Imax 3-D.

Gelfond predicted half of Imax's content will be in 3-D as studios adopt the technology. The company hasn't struck a deal with News Corp.'s Twentieth Century Fox for the May 2009 release of James Cameron's ``Avatar,'' he said.

Imax gained 16 cents, or 3.7 percent, to $4.51 at 4 p.m. New York time in Nasdaq Stock Market trading. The shares have gained 20 percent this year. DreamWorks Animation rose 4 cents to $29.61 in New York Stock Exchange composite trading.

To contact the reporter on this story: Meg Tirrell in New York at mtirrell@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jennifer Sondag at jsondag@bloomberg.net.

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