IMAX unveiled two agreements with exhibition groups to open nine new giant screens in India. The new deals mean that IMAX is on the way to doubling its footprint in the world’s second most populous nation.
With Cinepolis, the company signed an agreement for four new screens to be opened in Bangalore, Kolkata, Navi Mumbai and Thiruvananthapuram. With INOX Leisure it agreed to open two in Delhi and one theater each in Mumbai, Navi Mumbai and Gurugram.
With an order from PVR in February for 5 screens, IMAX has booked contracts for 14 new screens so far this year. Together, they lift the total open and under contract from 26 this time last year to 40 now.
India has been a priority for IMAX for several years, but only in the past two years has it gained significant traction. That has been helped by the success of recent Indian Blockbusters such as “Padmaavat,” as well as a growing moviegoer preference for more premium, and event-driven cinema.
“Strong box office performance is being driven by a greater audience appetite for Hollywood content as well as IMAX’s programming of more Indian films, coupled with the increased pace of multiplex development in the market,” said IMAX CEO Richard L. Gelfond.
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In India, Cinepolis has six contracted IMAX theatres, with a theatre open in the city of Pune, and one in Mumbai. Inclusive of today’s agreement, INOX has contracted for a total of 10 IMAX theatres, with two open (in Mumbai and Bangalore) and eight scheduled to open.