IMAX Corporation is betting big on India at a time when cinemas in the country are increasingly focusing to woo moviegoers by offering them more immersive experiences. The company is looking at opportunities to expand its presence beyond tier-1 markets and strengthen collaboration with filmmakers across languages for releases in the IMAX format.
“The premium large format in the cinema space has become even more critical post the pandemic. There has been a growing awareness about the premium large format and moviegoers are now seeking a differential experience when they step out to watch a movie on the big screen. Box office numbers and occupancies of IMAX screens are higher than conventional screens as consumers are willing to shell more for that experience,” said Preetham Daniel, Vice-President, Theater Development at IMAX-India, South East-Asia, Australia and New Zealand.
Currently, there are 21 IMAX screens operational in India. “We are the leading premium large format in terms of the number of screens in the country. We have another 19 contracted screens which are in various stages of development. I believe, on an average, we will see an addition of 6-8 new IMAX screens every year in India,” he added.
The company is also hoping to widen the consumer base beyond top cities. “While we will continue to ramp up presence in tier-1 cities, we have also started to look at opportunities in tier-2 cities. An IMAX screen is slated to open later this year in Coimbatore. We are in discussions for other tier-2 markets. So we have definitely got a bigger playing ground today in India compared to what it was 2-3 years ago,” he added.
IMAX uses its proprietary DMR (digital media remastering) process to convert conventional films to IMAX format. This year, Ponniyin Selvan – 1 and KGF: Chapter 2 became the first Tamil and Kannada films, respectively, to be released in IMAX format “These new initiatives help fuel the growth in the sector. We are committed to the Indian film market and local language films are a crucial part of our international footprint,” Daniel said. The Hindu BusinessLine