India’s second-largest multiplex chain has opened a new property in Tumakuru, Karnataka that will host five screens. INOX now operates 14 multiplexes with 59 screens in the state of Karnataka, having expanded its presence to 160 multiplexes spanning 675 screens across 72 cities in the country.
With the film exhibition business seeing signs of recovery, multiplex chains such as PVR, INOX, Carnival, and Miraj are firming up expansion plans that have been in the works. These will be across small-towns and metros such as Hyderabad, Jalandhar, Rourkela, Bhilwara, and Kolkata, with an additional focus on deepening penetration into south India, which remains dominated by single-screen cinemas.
A regular multiplex property can cost between Rs. 3 crore and Rs. 3.5 crore to build, while premium cinemas can cost more. However, companies are clear this should be a time for caution since losses of the past year-and-a-half cannot be wiped off immediately.
Rajendar Singh Jyala, chief programming officer, INOX Leisure Ltd, had said in an earlier interview that the chain opened around 42 screens since the first phase of unlocking began last year. Still, many of these have only remained partially operational because of a lack of new content. “We’re looking at 30-35 more screens before March next year, for which work is on in full swing, and we’re awaiting licences for some,” Jyala had said, adding that the company hopes to commit more properties for construction if this recovery cycle doesn’t end abruptly. While new properties will be spread across tier-I, -II and -III towns, the chain is focusing on the south of India, which has, so far, seen lower multiplex penetration.
The pandemic may have altered timelines but has also opened newer ways of doing business where multiplex chains are working with real estate partners on a transparent revenue-sharing model. Live Mint