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Imax is expanding its footprint in India with its latest agreements with two leading cinema chains, Inox and Cinepolis, which nearly doubles its contracted theatres over the last year.
The company’s deal with Inox will add five new Imax theatres in cities including New Delhi and Mumbai, while with Cinepolis it will add four new theatres in such locations as Bangalore and Kolkata. With this latest agreement, Inox has contracted Imax for a total of 10 theatres, including its two existing theatres with eight more scheduled to open. Cinepolis’ deal with Inox results in six contracted theatres, with two locations already operational in Mumbai and Pune.
These agreements, for which commercial terms were not given, bring Imax’s total number of contracted theatres in the country to 40, with 15 currently open and 25 contracted to open. A year ago, the company’s total screen count was 26.
Without giving figures, Imax CEO Richard L Gelfond said in a statement that Imax’s box office revenues in India in 2017 “increased 78 percent over the previous year and we have signed 14 new theaters in the span of weeks.”
The nine new theaters with Inox and Cinepolis add to the five theaters ordered by India’s largest chain, PVR Cinemas, in February.
Gelfond added that Imax’s growth in the country is being propelled by “a greater audience appetite for Hollywood content as well as Imax’s programing of more Indian films, coupled with the increased pace of multiplex development.”
In addition to Hollywood tentpoles, Indian films have also started to release on the large-screen format, such as this year’s hit, historical epic Padmaavat from Viacom’s Indian film unit, while last year saw another blockbuster hit in Baahubali 2.
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