February 2010
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Multiplexes may invest Rs 400 crore in 2010

The country’s multiplex industry is likely to invest Rs 400 crore in setting up new properties, new genre movies (3D being one) and in at least two big-budget Bollywood releases lined up every month over the next one year. At present, there are about 250 multiplexes in India and close to 900 screens. The industry is expected to see an addition of 40-50 new properties and 150-200 new screens in 2010 due to the fading recession, point out multiplex chains. Multiplexes invest Rs 2 crore per screen on an average. Thus, according to experts, the total investment next year on additional screens is estimated at Rs 400 crore.

But, 2009 was a far different story. Over 100 films were released in the year, but hits were few and far between. In addition, multiplex chains slowed down expansion too. Recession, producer-multiplex strike, and a string of box office flops led to 2009 being one of the worst years for the multiplex industry. The two-month-long stand-off between producers-distributors and multiplex owners over revenue sharing, which was resolved on June 5, led to a whopping Rs 300-crore loss to the Hindi film industry alone.

“The industry went through a few glitches at the beginning of this year. But, after June, there has been an upsurge in consumer spending and overall sentiment. The outlook for next year, too, is positive and, with recession fading, more properties would be able to open on time,” said Rishi Negi, CEO, and Fame Cinemas.

Fame Cinemas would add six new multiplexes in 2010 and 24-30 new screens. The company spends Rs 70,000-Rs 1 lakh per seat. Each screen has around 300-350 seats. Currently, the company has 23 multiplexes and 93 screens.

Inox Leisure, on the other hand, has 29 multiplexes and 105 screens across 20 cities in India. “In 2010, we will add another 15 multiplexes and 70 screens. We will open new properties in places where we already have a presence like Mumbai, Bangalore, Kolkata, as well as enter into new towns like Visakhapatnam, Belgaum, Hubli, Kanpur, Jodhpur, Udaipur and Bhubaneswar, among other locations,” said Alok Tandon, CEO, Inox. The company, which added four multiplexes and 20 screens till date in 2009, invests between Rs 2-2.5 crore per screen.

Tushar Dhingra, COO, Big Cinemas, is of the opinion that 3D movies would be the biggest draw for 2010. “Already, Hollywood has lined up 18 movies in 3D for release in 2010. Although, this technology would see another seven to eight years to mature, movie-goers have already accepted it,” Dhingra said.

Big Cinemas added 80 screens and around 26 properties since April 2009 till date. It currently has a total of 84 properties in India, with 12 screens showing 3D movies. Altogether, India has over 50 3D screens.



To open in 2010

Investment in 2010

Present count


15 multiplexes,
70 screens

Rs 2-2.5 crore
per screen

29 multiplexes and
105 screens 


5-6 properties,
24-30 screens

Rs 1.5 - 2.5 crore
per screen

23 multiplexes
and 93 screens


13 screens,
4 properties

Rs 2 crore
per screen

88 screens and
28 properties


12 new properties,
55 screens

Rs 80 crore

24 properties,
75 screens


60-70 screens,
around 10 properties

Over Rs 100 crore

200 screens,
45 properties

Vishal Kapur, COO, Fun Multiplex, said: “3D currently contributes about 10 per cent to total multiplex business in India.” Fun Multiplex is investing close to Rs 80 crore in 2010 in setting up 12 new properties with 55 screens. In 2009, it opened seven properties and 30 screens.
Cinemax, on the other hand, is looking at a total of 101 screens and 32 properties by March 2010, at an investment of Rs 2 crore per screen. The company currently has 88 screens and 28 properties. In 2009, the company set up 14 screens and five properties.

Devang Sampat, VP (marketing and programming), Cinemax, said: “The outlook for multiplex industry in 2010 is positive, with at least two big-ticket releases every month. Also, 3D will be a big drive, too, where ticket prices are higher by 10-20 per cent.”

Cinemax, on an average, increases food, beverage and ticket prices by almost 10 per cent year-on-year, to support expansion plans and other expenditure.
PVR Cinemas, on its part, expects a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 40 per cent in 2010. “Our recent acquisition of the DLF chain of multiplexes would help us expand rapidly,” said Pramod Arora, president, PVR Cinemas.

The company is investing over Rs 100 crore in 2010 to set up 60-70 screens and close to 10 properties. In 2009, it set up 29 screens in five properties. PVR currently has a total of 200 screens and 45 properties in India.

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