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PVR to come up in Trichy Soon

PVR opens 10-screen multiplex in Chennai

Launching PVR ICON at VR Chennai in Anna Nagar at a cost of ₹40 crore, Ajay Bijli – led multiplex chain PVR Ltd is betting big on the Tamil Nadu market.

“We intend to open 56 screens across seven properties by 2022. The screens will come up in Chennai, Tiruchi and other towns between 2019-2022,” Gautam Dutta, CEO, PVR Ltd told The Hindu. With this opening, PVR Cinemas now has 74 screens (Chennai, Vellore and Coimbatore) at 13 properties in Tamil Nadu and 246 screens across 41 properties in Southern India.

At the national-level, PVR stands at a total screen count of 727 screens at 156 properties in 61 cities. In the next five years, PVR will also add 89 screens in Hyderabad, 98 in Karnataka and 30 in Kerala.

“The primary focus will be tier-I cities. We strongly believe that South is a very different market – the way people consume movies, the amount of movies they consume and the ticket prices are different here when compared to rest of India,” Mr Dutta said.

For financial year 2017-18, Tamil Nadu contributed 11% to the company’s overall pan India Cinema Level Revenues. With SPI’s acquisition, he expects the Tamil Nadu market to contribute around 14-15% this fiscal.

On the PVR-SPI Cinemas deal, Mr. Dutta said that both firms are collaborating when it comes to ideation. Both Kiran Reddy and Swaroop Reddy continue to be on the board and steer the team, he says. “After the acquisition, we called the SPI team and asked them to take over the VR Chennai property and design it exactly the way they would have put up an SPI Cinemas project. It has worked really well,” Mr. Dutta says.

“Even now, SPI Cinemas is the soul and PVR is the skin and the collaboration is working brilliantly,” he said, adding all efforts are being made to ensure that the two cultures blend to seamlessly give a great experience to the consumers in the South. PVR is combining the SPI food experience (popcorn and the cold coffee) in its properties. In August, this year, PVR Ltd bought SPI Cinemas in a transaction valued at ₹850 crore.

OTT Market
To a query on the disruptions caused by over-the-top (OTT) platforms including Amazon PV, Netflix, Mr. Dutta said he does not see them as a threat to the film exhibition business in India.

Brokerage firm Kotak Institutional Equities estimates over-the-top (OTT) revenue to increase to $3.1 billion over FY2018-23. “People who consume more Netflix go to theatres to watch movies as well. When Indian Premier League (IPL) was launched, there was a buzz that occupancy levels would dip. But nothing happened,” he points out.

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