Nearly two dozen additional cinema auditoriums with moving seats, smells and water effects will be coming to India. That follows an agreement between the country’s leading multiplex chain, PVR, and the Korean equipment manufacturer 4DX.
PVR opened its first 4DX theater in Noida, near New Delhi, and is currently adding three more. The deal, signed at the CineAsia convention in Hong Kong, will see the multi-sensory equipment installed as new in PVR’s upcoming multiplexes and a handful of retrofit locations.
The company expects to have 21 4DX screens in operation by the end of 2019. The deal requires that no other cinema operator can operate a 4DX screen within a 10-kilometer radius of PVR’s.
PVR said that the equipment has been well received by Indian filmmakers and audiences. “We’ve seen people traveling 40 km or 50 km to visit the Noida facility,” said Gautam Dutta, PVR CEO. “Indian filmmakers were hesitant when we had only one site, but we expect that to completely change once this deal becomes known. Bollywood’s action and other genres are well-suited.”
To date, the company has played 37 Hollywood titles in the format, and three from India.
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Dutta said that it can charge an additional $2-3 per ticket in 4DX venues. That has made the equipment highly profitable and its costs repaid within two-and-a-half years. Choi Byung-hwan, CEO of the CJ-owned 4DX, called the deal a “meaningful event.”