Imax Corp., the Canadian entertainment technology company, plans to open five more theatres in India in the next six months. The company that specializes in 2D and 3D projection, cameras, post production and digital sound systems, currently has 10 IMAX theaters in the country.
IMAX is currently in talks with all the top cinema operators in India for this expansion.
“For the additional five theatres, we are in touch with all the top cinema operators like Cinepolis, PVR, and INOX and the markets include Mumbai, Pune, and Bangalore,” Senior Vice President, Theatre Development, Russia, CIS, Middle East and India, IMAX, John Schreiner, told Indiaretailing in an exclusive interview.
The company, which earlier this year signed a five-theatre deal with INOX leisure, entered India in 2012 with India’s leading cinema operator PVR. It’s currently present in Mumbai, Pune, Bangalore among other cities and is upbeat about the growth potential in India.
“India is a highly strategic market for us as we view the market with good growth potential over the coming years. The theatres we currently have open are performing very well and the new theatres that have been launched have come out of the gate very strongly, therefore successful theatres generally lead to more theatres so we are optimistic for additional theatre contracts signings in the near term,” Schreiner said.
Even numbers support Schreiner’s optimism.
India’s Media & Entertainment Industry (M&E) was worth Rs 1026 billion at the end of 2014 and is expected to grow at CAGR of 14 per cent for the next five years and reach Rs 1964 billion at the end of 2019, according to KPMG. It is estimated to grow twice at the rate of global M&E industry.
Within the M&E industry, cinema industry plays an integral part and had share of 12.3 per cent in 2014. The size of film industry stood at Rs 126 billion at the end of 2014 and is expected to grow at CAGR of 10 per cent and reach Rs 209 billion at the end of 2019. With more number of screens getting added annually, a rise in consumer discretionary spending is likely to drive the growth of the Indian film industry.
However for IMAX, which recently signed the biggest deal in the company’s history (a pact to create 150 additional theaters) with Chinese property-to-entertainment giant, Wanda, India’s growth cannot be so exponential due to various infrastructural challenges.
“We are in business with all of the top four cinema chains in India and we are optimistic that we will do additional theatres with all of them. While it would be incredible to do a 150 IMAX theatre like we have done with Wanda in China, the development of the Indian cinema infrastructure is not proceeding at the same pace as that market, therefore I would expect to see smaller multiple theatre agreements in the future as well,” he concluded.