Scrabble Entertainment signs up with Hollywood studios for Mid-East deployment

MUMBAI: Indian digital cinema deployment entity Scrabble Entertainment is now going international. After deploying 220 screens across 23 cities in India, and with plans for a further 250 screens by next year, Scrabble Entertainment is now planning to foray into the Middle East.

The company will deploy over 400 screens in the region over the next two years. To facilitate the deployment in this region, Scrabble has so far signed non–exclusive digital cinema deployment agreements with five major Hollywood studios namely 20th Century Fox International, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures International, Paramount Pictures International, Universal Pictures International and Warner Bros Pictures.

The roll out will commence in early 2011 and will cover the United Arab Emirates, Lebanon, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, Oman, Jordon and Syria. Scrabble will be the first deployment entity in the Middle East, a region that shares similar characteristics to the Indian theatrical marketplace. Scrabble’s decision to expand in its deployment footprint to the Middle East is therefore not surprising. The benefit of digital cinema will be realized by all players in the Middle East market, from content owners, to distributors to exhibitors.

"Scrabble Entertainment has already managed to gain a strong foothold in the Indian entertainment market. We now have a much better understanding of the business. Since our funding and infrastructure is in place, it’s time to move to other markets. The Middle East, for many reasons, was our obvious first choice," said Scrabble Entertainment CEO Ranjit Thakur.

Scrabble will soon begin bringing Middle East theatrical exhibition into the digital age, converting 100% of the screens within each cinema complex to a full digital cinema infrastructure. In response to the broad 3D slate announced by the major studios, Scrabble aims to significantly increase the number of screens capable of playing 3D content within the region. Going forward, it is clear that having just one or two screens equipped with 3D in a large complex is not enough.

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