INOX launches new four-screen multiplex in Ardee Mall, Gurugram. Photo: INOX
One of the major players in the exhibition industry, INOX Leisure launched three new multiplexes on January 13.
The multiplex chain has launched two new properties in Gurugram and one in Salem, Tamil Nadu.
The new INOX multiplex at Ardee Mall in Gurugram has four Insignia screens, with a total of 120 recliner seats.
Another property in Gurugram at Sapphire 90 Mall has four screens with 752 seats. With the launch of two new multiplexes, INOX now has 14 multiplexes with 50 screens in the National Capital Region.
Along with new properties, the national multiplex chain has added a new city to its portfolio.
INOX has launched a three-screen multiplex with a capacity of 801 seats in Reliance Mall, Salem, Tamil Nadu. With this launch, INOX now operates 34 screens across six properties in Tamil Nadu.
Overall, INOX has added 11 new screens in 2021 so far and has taken the overall screen total to 637 and the number of multiplexes to 150.
Alok Tandon, Chief Executive Officer, INOX Leisure, said that after the difficult phase, it is time to get back to normal buoyancy and that the launch of 11 new screens shows their commitment to expansion plans.
The exhibition sector has been one of the hardest hit due to the coronavirus pandemic. While there were fewer screen additions last year, many single screens shut down permanently.
Even major multiplex players added a few screens in 2020.
Analysts estimate permanent closure of 1,000 to 1,500 screens in 2020 which will take the overall screen count down to around 8,527 from 9,527 screens in 2019.
According to them, this is the sharpest drop as in the last five to seven years the number of screens has not come down by more than 200-250.
Also, it will be south market that will see major impact as out of the 1,000-1,500 screens, almost 53 percent closures will be in south, expect analysts. And this will impact the business of regional films as 60-65 percent of box office collections for a regional films come from single-screen theatres.
While the situation still remains tough for exhibitors who are still struggling because of the dearth of content, multiplex players have started adding new screens which is a good sign for the exhibition business.