IMAX Corp., well renowned for its immersive cinema technology, is positive on India and believes the nation has the potential for up to 100 screens, considering the country’s modest development inside the previous 20 years, according to a top company official.
IMAX, which began operations in Wadala, Mumbai, in 1999, now has just 20 active screens in nine locations as well as two ready-to-open sites awaiting government clearances. In comparison, China, which has overtaken the United States as that of the leading market for IMAX, has opened 700 IMAX screens in the same amount of time.
“IMAX’s expansion in India has been restrained since the country’s screen count has not increased at the same rate as other regions of the world. But it really is picking up,” John Schreiner, senior VP of IMAX Corp’s theatre development, told ET. He said that his business has secured agreements with PVR Cinemas, Inox Leisure, and Cinepolis India to open 20 additional IMAX screens in the future years, bringing the total number of IMAX screens to 42.
India is a market where IMAX does annual market analysis. “We’ve taken a cautious approach and feel we can easily have 100 IMAX screens around the country.” We’d like to achieve that number in five years in an ideal scenario,” Schreiner added. “Regulatory difficulties still persist and they are not only a huge obstacle for IMAX but for the entire sector on the whole,” Schreiner said, pointing to extensive processes for government clearances as well as a slow rate of development as the main cause of its poor growth. The largest issue in India, however, is the low screen density.”
15 of the 20 IMAX screens are located in three cities: Delhi, Mumbai, as well as Bengaluru. The two projects that are awaiting clearance will be built in Lucknow and Navi Mumbai, respectively.
For a charge as well as a yearly royalty for its own brand, IMAX makes its technology available to theatre owners all around the world. A new IMAX screen costs somewhat more than $1 million, while the latest laser technology-enabled auditorium commands a 30% premium for multiplexes.
PVR has converted two of its IMAX properties to laser technology so far, one of these every in Delhi and Mumbai. Consumers will just have to pay for premium experiences like IMAX, according to Schreiner, because it’s the only one they can’t have at home. “In this day and age of video streaming, individuals can see almost anything on their phones, but they can’t have an IMAX experience.” “They will eventually be willing to pay a premium for the experience,” he said.