MUMBAI: Leading Hollywood studios namely Twentieth Century Fox, Warner Bros, Walt Disney Studios and Paramount Pictures have signed a contract with Scrabble Entertainment to deploy up to 2,000 digital cinema screens in India.
While the deal with four studios has been inked, Scrabble is currently finalizing a contract with Universal Pictures for the same.
With the new multiplexes built in India over the last three to four years, there is an opportunity for Hollywood studios to increase their product volume of 2D and 3D films and overall presence in India. Converting conventional 35mm film projectors to digital projection systems is expected to facilitate increased efficiency and lower distribution costs thereby providing the opportunity to significantly increase both the number of movies released and the breadth of each release within India.
Scrabble Entertainment is currently India’s only 2K DCI compliant deploying entity and has installed 80 screens to date within the metro cities of India. Plans are to install over 500 screens over the next three years in more than 100 multiplexes mostly in the top eight cities of India.
Indian multiplex chains namely PVR Cinemas, Fame India Limited, Inox Leisure, and Fun Cinemas have signed up with Scrabble for the installation of these digital systems.
The deployment agreements with Hollywood studios are based upon the VPF model, essentially a pay per use or booking model. Hollywood studios will get an opportunity to have wider day and date releases in India at lower costs and the digital platform will allow the studios to showcase their 3D titles. The studios can additionally use this platform for playing alternate content.
Piracy is also likely to be controlled to a large extent via this deployment.
Currently, multiplexes in the top eight cities of India collect over 75 per cent of the total Indian box-office collection, whereas Hollywood contributes less than 10 per cent of that collection.
Christie worked with Scrabble Entertainment (SEPL) and rolled out the digital cinema plan by supplying 200 Christie DLP Cinema projectors for India’s digital cinema deployment.
Scrabble Entertainment CEO Ranjit Thakur said, “The ultimate beneficiary of our Hollywood alliances will be the Indian movie audience. India will finally see more Hollywood day and date releases, generally wider releases and most importantly all the awesome 3 D content, which would not be possible without the Scrabble digital platform. Our vision is to convert every multiplex in India which has a potential to screen Hollywood content to DCI Compliant 2 K or 4 K Systems. ”
Hollywood has until now had limited access to the vast distribution infrastructure in India. Hollywood studios executives see India as huge market for English films, which will enable them to release more movies day and date in India.