Leading multiplex chain PVR INOX is betting big on premium formats. As part of this strategy, it plans to add 4-5 IMAX screens every year. The company on Friday launched the only standalone IMAX theatre in India at Delhi’s iconic Priya Cinema.

This marked the launch of the 20th IMAX screen in the company’s portfolio.

Ajay Bijli, Managing Director, PVR INOX Ltd, told businessline, “We are committed to rolling out IMAX screens across the country. We have seen strong traction for IMAX format in recent times with the success of Hollywood flicks such as Oppenheimer.. We plan to roll out 4-5 IMAX screens of every year. These need to be in catchment areas where the audience demographic has the propensity to watch Hollywood movies.”

As per the company’s latest investor presentation, premium formats represent 13.5 per cent of the total screen count, which is about 229 screens. This includes Director’s Cut, 4DX, ICE, Insignia and IMAX among others.

Overall, the company currently operates 1,708 screens across 361 properties in 115 cities in India and Sri Lanka.

Talking about future expansion plans, Bijli said the multiplex chain has already added 50 screens in the current fiscal year. “We have got some 200-odd screens under various phases of fitouts. So we will continue to focus on adding about 150-200 screens every year,” he added.

Synergies of merger

Responding to a query on synergies due to the recent integration (merger of PVR and Inox), he said, “We have begun seeing benefits of synergies in terms of F&B revenues as well as ATP (average ticket price)s. We will soon begin witnessing synergies in terms of advertising revenues as well. There will also be a lot of cost synergies. Those are all going to play out as per the forecast we have made earlier.”

In March, the multiplex chain had said that it expects to derive annual synergies of ₹225 crore over the next 12-24 months.

Talking about the strong content line-up in the second half of the year, Bijli said, “Looking forward to FY24, we are optimistic about the robust content line up across all languages. Notably, the Hindi Box Office has shown a gradual reduction in volatility, accompanied by improved performance of mid-scale Hindi movies, indicating a growing appetite for fresh Hindi content among the audiences. We strongly believe that as we progress through the rest of the year, we will witness a rising trend of Box Office across all genres.”