‘We will focus on the South Indian film industry’

PRIYANKA PANI NIVEDITA GANGULY | Updated on March 21, 2013

South central: Moviegoers at Prasad’s IMAX theatre in Hyderabad

Moviegoers look at a Tamil film poster at Prasad’s IMAX theatre in Hyderabad   -  The Hindu

Greg Foster, Chairman of Filmed Entertainment, IMAX Corporation,

Greg Foster, Chairman of Filmed Entertainment, IMAX, says Tamil and Telugu films account for a chunk of the box-office collections from regional movies.

Though Canadian entertainment technology firm IMAX Corporation entered the Indian market in 2001, it has gone slow with its expansion plans in India given the lack of infrastructure. However, the company is now planning to focus on India’s regional film industry.

Speaking to Business Line , the Chairman of Filmed Entertainment, IMAX Corporation, Greg Foster, said the company recently entered into a partnership with Yash Raj Film (YRF) studios for the upcoming film Dhoom 3 . Excerpts from the interview:

Tell us more about the partnership with YRF?

We chose YRF because it is the most influential production house. Dhoom 3 lends itself to what we do internationally. It's an action movie and appeals to the core crowd. We are also looking at releasing this movie outside India simultaneously. Our motion picture format allows us to record and display images of far greater size and resolution than conventional film systems.

Is this an exclusive tie-up? Can you tell us more about other movies in the pipeline?

We plan to extend our technology expertise to other production houses as well. Besides, we will focus on the South Indian film industry, mainly Telugu and Tamil films.

Why the shift in focus to regional films?

This is part of our global strategy. We are the technology partners for movies in China, Russia, Korea, Middle East and other South Asian countries. In India, regional movies (including Bollywood) make for 90 per cent of the box office collections. Of this, 30 per cent comes from films in languages such as Tamil, Telugu or Kannada. We want to customise our offerings to the needs of these viewers.

You have been slow in your expansion in India so far. What stopped you from entering the movie business earlier?

In 2001, when we entered the Indian market, there weren’t many malls or multiplexes. The audience too was not keen on spending much on entertainment. However, things have changed. People now are ready to pay that extra amount. India is a critical market for us. The technology has been popular in the West but very few multiplexes offer the facility in India. We have tied up with leading multiplex chains such as PVR and Satyam Cinemas in Chennai.

How many screens are you planning to open in India?

By end-2013, we plan to open six more screens in India. This will take the number to 10. The new IMAX screens will come up in Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai and Bangalore.

Published on March 21, 2013

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