MUMBAI: Multiplex chain Cinemax is aiming to go all digital within a year. With 74 screens across 24 locations in the country, Cinemax has tied up with Scrabble Entertainment to install the new 2k projectors across seven properties located in Mumbai, Thane and Gujarat. A total sum of Rs 300 million (Rs 30 crore) has been set aside for the same.
India is on the forefront of the digital cinema revolution and with this deal it will provide producers and distributors an opportunity for saturated wide spread release in the week of release itself.
Speaking to Businessofcinema.com Scrabble CEO Ranjit Thakur said, "We have already installed 91 screens across 17 properties in India, the most recent being E-Square in Pune and now we have tied up with Cinemax to convert all their screens to the digital format. We will be starting with seven properties at the moment and we will probably complete the job by 14 August. Then it will be one property every month from then on."
Cinemax senior vice president strategy Devang Sampat added, "Out of 74 screens we are 24 will initially be digitalized beginning with our properties in Mumbai like Versova, Vashi, Thane, Sion, Kandivali and Ahmedabad in Gujrat."
According to Sampat Rs 300 million (Rs 30 crore) will be invested in the project for the existing 74 screens. He says, "We took this decision because it has a lot of advantages the biggest being the clarity and besides that a digital projector consumes 50% less energy than the analog version and also saves us manpower costs by 50% and also is effective in countering piracy. With digital cinema the revenue generation will also be higher since we can play all 3D content which is a huge demand these days. Besides that some of the big Hollywood releases cannot be screened without the 2k DCI system."
Besides the fact that the movies look and sound better, digital cinema also reduces the cost of distribution, eliminating the need for making costly prints and the need to rent, deliver, collect and store prints. Sampat says that approximately Rs 50 lakh will be spent per projector.
Thakur adds, "A lot of the big Hollywood films cannot be released in India because of the lack of digital screens so with this change the content supply will increase dramatically since we also have a tie up with all the six big Hollywood studios, which in turn will bring in better revenues."
Scrabble will also be buying back the old analog equipment from Cinemax. However Sampat informs that as of now they were in talks with Scrabble for buying back the old analog equipment. However, Cinemax might use the same for their future expansion plans.