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Cinepolis to invest Rs 400cr in 2 yrs, open 160 screens

Times of India:  May, 2016

New Delhi: Mexican multiplex chain Cinepolis said it will invest around Rs 400 crore in the next two years to launch 160 more screens, which will take its total number of screens here to 400.

With 240 screens at present, Cinepolis is the fourth largest player in the Indian multiplex market after PVR, Inox and Carnival Cinemas, in terms of number of screens.

"There is a huge demand and supply gap in India," said Javier Sotomayor, MD of Cinepolis India. "The Chinese aren't too fond of watching movies but China has 35,000 screens compared to around 10,000 screens here."

India is the world's sixth largest movie market, trailing the likes of the US & Canada, China, Japan, UK and France, according to MPAA Theatrical Market Statistics Report. The domestic movie industry is slated to grow at a CAGR of 10% in the next five years, said a study by KPMG-Ficci.

"We have acquired properties but can't launch them yet due to real estate issues here," said Sotomayor. "The multiplex business is closely related to the real estate industry and its pace of growth hasn't been very robust lately. However, we are expecting a second wave of growth to come eventually."

Sotomayor said regional movies category from genres such as Marathi, Punjabi, Bengali and others is the fastest growing segment for Cinepolis. "The success of Jungle Book notwithstanding, our highest grossing movie is a Telegu movie by the name of Bahubali," he said.

Cinepolis plans to open 60 new screens in Delhi NCR by 2017 to take the total number of screens to 75 from 15 at present.

Sotomayor said he expects the domestic multiplex market to witness consolidation in future, in line with global trends. Recently, PVR acquired the DLF Group's multiplex arm DT Cinemas for Rs 500 crore. Carnival acquired screens from HDIL's Broadway Cinema and Anil Ambani's BIG Cinemas, while Cinepolis bought Fun Cinemas, the multiplex chain owned by Subhash Chandra's Essel Group, in 2013.

Cinepolis, which started its operations at Amritsar in 2009 and runs screens under the brand names such as Cinepolis, Cinepolis VIP and Fun Cinemas, is the world's fourth largest movie theatre circuit.