Specialist streamer Mubi has expanded its India offering by partnering with the country’s leading cinema chain, PVR Cinemas, to launch the cinema-going initiative Mubi Go.
Subscribers will receive one complimentary ticket every week to watch a Mubi-selected film at any PVR cinema, via the Mubi Go app that will be available from Friday on the Android and iOS platforms. The initiative’s first film of the week will be Rian Johnson’s “Knives Out,” starring Daniel Craig, Jamie Lee Curtis and Chris Evans. The app will list the current and following week’s selections.
The Mubi Go app was first launched in the U.K. with a broad spectrum of films including “Once Upon A Time In Hollywood,” “Judy,” “The Souvenir” and “Border.” In the U.K., Mubi Go went wide with a range of cinemas, from multiplexes through independent screens. In India, the service has chosen to partner exclusively with PVR.
“The reason for partnering exclusively with PVR is that they are huge, with more than 800 screens across the country, and they continue to grow,” Mubi founder and CEO Efe Cakarel told Variety. “And, perhaps even more important to us, is that they show the kind of films we like to champion. Sometimes it’s going to be a really big film, like ‘Joker,’ as big as it gets, but its pure cinema, and sometimes it’s going to be a small regional film from South India that is available only in a handful of screens. And sometimes, its a film that was in competition in Cannes. So if it is good, and its doing a theatrical, you can be assured that it is going to be in PVR cinemas, that was a really important consideration for us.”
Mubi launched in India on Nov. 15 with two channels, Mubi India and Mubi World, together available at an introductory offer of $2.75 for three months and $7 a month or $66.75 annually thereafter.
In June, a localized version of Mubi launched in Malaysia. “Malaysia is the country we really want to crack,” said Cakarel. “And then we are going to come to Singapore and Indonesia next. Expect us to be there next year.”
There are currently no plans to introduce Mubi Go in Southeast Asia. After India, the next market Mubi Go is targeting is the U.S. “That is a major, major, undertaking, as you can imagine,” said Cakarel.
Mubi also has plans to get into producing original Indian content and the company’s production team is reading scripts now. “We need to be producing our own content for a clear, meaningful differentiation in the long run,” says Cakarel.
PVR is South Asia’s largest cinema chain with 821 screens at 172 locations in 70 cities across India and Sri Lanka.