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IMAX Expanding in China

IMAX announced over the next three years it will build 75 new theaters in China, reported the New York Times. Wanda Cinemas, China's largest theater chain, will partner with IMAX on this venture, making Wanda the second largest operator of IMAX screens in the world. IMAX reportedly expects to have 300 theaters in China by 2016. The Hollywood Reporter notes that this IMAX deal comes as China's government pushes to expand the nation's cultural and media sectors.

However, even though the move to build screens is strong, the push for more content is falling short. Just last week, China missed the March 19 deadline to honor a World Trade Organization ruling to ease state restrictions on foreign media, reported the Los Angeles Times. The country only permits about 20 foreign flicks, which censors must first approve, into its theaters every year. Without Netflix or iTunes to sell or sent content, illegal Internet downloads and pirated DVDs are increasingly huge businesses. In 2010, China's pirate DVD industry reportedly generated $6 billion while its box-office brought in $1.5 billion.
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