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PVR to open more superplexes, add more screens in the South

FY24 will be huge once the merger with INOX goes through, says joint MD Sanjeev Bijli

November 25, 2022 / 01:42 PM IST
PVR's turnaround has been spectacular and recovery appears to be faster

PVR's turnaround has been spectacular and recovery appears to be faster

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Multiplex operator PVR will open more superplexes and is looking at around 100-screen additions every year, said the company's Joint Managing Director Sanjeev Kumar Bijli.

On November 24, the exhibitor announced the opening of a superplex in Kerala's Thiruvananthapuram, in partnership with the Lulu Group. The 12-screen property is PVR’s fourth superplex.

A superplex is a property that has 10 or more screens and houses different premium formats. Other exhibitors, such as INOX, have also launched similar mega properties, including one in Mumbai that has 11 screens with six different cinema formats.

"There is one 12-screen superplex coming up in Bengaluru with Prestige Group and another  with Lulu Group in Lucknow, which will be an 11-screen property," said Bijli.

"We have built these (superplexes) in places where there is high propensity to watch a film in multiple languages. I can’t open a superplex in Amritsar because it is more local-language-dependent, so many screens may not be justified. In Kerala, we opened a superplex because people watch local films, other regional language films as well as English and Hindi films.”

The company has invested Rs 55-60 crore in the 12-screen complex in Kerala.

Also read | PVR opens first ever IMAX in Kerala

Bijli said that pricing will be dynamic in the new property as there are different formats available. “It is a new market. …We will start with about Rs 180-200 for a ticket for normal screens, Rs 350 for IMAX and Rs 600 for the Luxe format. So, blended ATP (average ticket price) will come to about Rs 250," he said.

Southern focus

While Bijli said that the focus is pan-India for screen additions, he noted that PVR is looking at more properties in the southern market. “We do get better returns in the southern market because the propensity to watch films, and the moviegoing index, is much higher there. We are opening screens in Chennai, four in Bengaluru and in Hubli, among others.”

The company has 27 screens in Kerala and 311 in the South in its total portfolio of 876 screens.

“We have opened 40 screens so far and are planning to open another 60 this year. Roughly about Rs 150 crore of more capex (capital expenditure) will be spent on screen additions,” he said, adding that the company is looking to add around 100 screens in FY24.

Bijli also said that the box office business had bounced back in October and November. “Q2 was underwhelming but Q3 seems to be on the right track with more films yet to release, including Avatar 2 and Ranveer Singh’s Cirkus. And going by the content pipeline with Shah Rukh Khan's Pathaan and Alia Bhatt's Rocky Aur Rani Ki Prem Kahani, Q4 may continue with the same momentum,” he said.

Bijli added that FY24 will be exciting in the wake of PVR’s merger with INOX. The merger was announced in March and is in the final leg of the National Company Law Tribunal process. “The two companies and families are coming together and it will be exciting. Also, double the screens will be double the work,” he added.
Maryam Farooqui
first published: Nov 25, 2022 12:36 pm