Spread across 42 countries across the world with 720 screens, D-BOX Technologies has now come to India in two theatres of PVR.
If you are planning to go watch the Hrithik Roshan and Tiger Shroff-starrer high-octane action film War, there is something that can add to the movie watching experience.
Your seat in the theatre will move in sync with the action on the screen and you will feel like you are there with the stars, even as Roshan and Shroff do those gravity-defying stunts.
How is that possible? Through D-BOX enabled cinema seats which reflect the action and emotion depicted in a movie.
Spread across 42 countries across the world with 720 screens, Canadian company D-BOX Technologies has now come to India in two theatres of PVR, said Vanessa Moisan-Willis, Vice President, Marketing D-BOX Technologies.
Talking to Moneycontrol, Kamal Gianchandani, CEO, PVR Pictures, said, “We are starting with Delhi and Bombay. First theatre of the block would be PVR Icon in Andheri and PVR Select City in Saket, Delhi. These two theatres will offer this facility and both are premium locations.”
In terms of PVR’s investment for getting the D-BOX seat technology, Gianchandani said that for premium formats they tend to spend 50-60 percent more than what they spend on mainstream screens. PVR typically spends about Rs 3 crore on a mainstream screen.
PVR will be sharing exact investment numbers as well as the number of D-BOX seats they will be initially installing in their theatres soon.
But how much will you as an audience have to pay to experience this immersive technology?
“It (ticket prices) will be one and a half to two times more of what we typically charge for our mainstream seats,” said Gianchandani.
He added that while “War is a blockbuster, the test would be some of the Hollywood films that come out later that would tell us the real story about what consumers are comfortable paying for this experience.”
For D-BOX seats, PVR is currently focusing on the big metros but is not ruling out the potential the smaller centres hold.
“For smaller centres, I think it is early in the product life cycle. So, we will focus on top 15-20 cities and then maybe over the next two- three years scale up and experiment with one of the smaller towns,” he said.
It is not just D-BOX seats but PVR has been betting on technological advancements and premium screens.
“Premium experiences are a critical cog in our overall strategy. A large part of our 800 screens are focused in big cities where our consumers tend to be a lot more experimental, very receptive to new technologies and open to sort of spending more, said Gianchandani.
Out of the total portfolio of PVR’s 800 screens, 15 percent are premium screens.
In 2018, out of 73 screens opened by PVR Cinemas, 20 screens were premium (Gold Class, IMAX, 4DX, Playhouse, PXL), said a 2019 EY report.
Similarly, INOX Leisure opened 11 premium screens (Insignia, Onyx, IMAX, Club Class, Kiddles) out of the total 58 new screens.
But are the returns strong from the premium screens?
“Premium format screens are the first ones to be sold. There is clear demand for premium screens. Also in terms of percentage occupancy, premium format screens are at least 2 percent higher than the mainstream screens. The occupancy is 30-35 percent depending on the quality of content every year, he explained.
While D-BOX seats technology is launching with Bollywood venture War, Gianchandani said that for D-Box there would be a lot of focus on Hollywood films because these films are already encoded with D-BOX technology.In addition, PVR is in touch with lot of producers from Hindi and other languages to include the technology in Indian films.Get access to India's fastest growing financial subscriptions service Moneycontrol Pro for as little as Rs 599 for first year. Use the code "GETPRO". Moneycontrol Pro offers you all the information you need for wealth creation including actionable investment ideas, independent research and insights & analysis For more information, check out the Moneycontrol website or mobile app.