Mexican multiplex chain Cinepolis forays into India

MUMBAI: Undeterred by the never-ending standoff between Indian multiplex chains and Hindi film producers and distributors, Mexican multiplex chain Cinepolis has set foot in India and plans to invest a corpus of Rs 3.70 billion (Rs 370 crores) for approximately 110 screens across eight cities in the first phase.

Cinepolis India will be headed by Milan Saini as country head. The company is in talks with mall developers across eight cities to build these screens. Cinepolis will also introduce the concept of megaplexes in India, which will house as many as 14 screens in one property, unlike present plexes which house between three – five screens.

The company plans to commence operations of its first property in India by the latter half of the year and will invest approximately Rs 35 million (Rs 3.5 crores) per screen.

"We will make India the country with our largest presence outside Mexico. We will open around 500 screens in the next seven years and for every screen, we will be spending around $700,000," said Saini.

He also informed that apart from megaplexes, multiplexes and its luxury cinema concept Cinepolis VIP, the company will also be looking at spreading its operations in smaller cities wherein they would convert single screens into multi-screens.

The company aims to build as many as 500 screens in 40 Indian cities by 2016. Cinepolis is the first international multiplex chain to foray into India. The home-grown national multiplex chains currently operating are PVR Cinemas, BIG Cinemas, Inox Leisure, Cinemax and Fun Cinemas.

Globally, Cinepolis operates over 2,000 screens and has revenues of $675 million.