IMAX sets sights on record-breaking revenue in India

New Delhi: IMAX, the immersive large-format cinematic experience, has surpassed its success in India in 2022, and already has revenues of over $20 million (approx. 166 crore) this year. Blockbusters like Pathaan, Oppenheimer, and Jawan contributed to these figures, along with an expanded screen count, despite a few local titles, including Ponniyin Selvan: 2, which are not expected. In 2022, the company had earned $18.8 million from the Indian box office.

In contrast to 34 films released in IMAX format last year, in 2023 there were 39 titles, including six Indian films. Despite the challenges of the covid-19 pandemic, the company increased its operating screens to 26 out of 30 installed, compared to 22 screens in 2022. The projected earnings of $20 million represents a significant growth compared to covid $15 million in 2019.

The company is also looking at independent IMAX properties around the country and the average ticket price is approx. 360-370, said a senior executive. “The strong Hollywood team played a big role in our business this year but also from a local Indian perspective, we are asked to release films in IMAX format on a daily basis and we try to cater to all those. we can,” Preetham Daniel, APAC (Asia Pacific) vice president, theater development, IMAX Corp., told Mint in an interview.

The trend started with James Cameron’s science fiction film Avatar-The Way of Water which came to prominence 26 crore in IMAX format when it released last December. Next was Shah Rukh Khan’s Pathan who earned more 12 crore but Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer was the game changer that went around 50 crores.

Khan’s second action film, Jawan, ended 13 crore in IMAX, and other hits this year include Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One ( 10.14 crore), Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3 ( 7.69 crore) and Spider-Man: Spider-Man ( 6.67 crore). The company is now looking forward to the release of Prabhas’ action film Salaar in December.

Despite the clear dominance in Hollywood, Daniel said the company would end in 2022 with 30% of its box office coming from non-Hollywood titles, including Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, French and Japanese, among others . He estimates that the share of non-Hollywood cinemas will be higher in 2023 and said that markets such as India, Indonesia and Thailand will not be as affected by the likely change in dates due to strikes by actors and producers. writers in Hollywood given the number of local people. options available.

“In 2024, we will focus on local content while looking closely at languages ​​like Tamil and Telugu and entering regions that serve those markets. India is an under-screened country and while IMAX can reach 100 or 150 screens here, the timescale is unknown due to the pace of development and the venue infrastructure that dictates these things,” said Daniel .

IMAX, which opened independent theaters along with multiplex chain PVR Inox in Delhi’s Priya Cinema and Paras Cinema, will launch its third such property in Mumbai’s Eros Cinema. Regular IMAX screens are planned in Pune, Ahmedabad and Mumbai, while the company is in talks with markets like Jaipur, Jamshedpur and Surat.

“Prices are not a barrier because of the kind of visual experience we offer. After covid, people are willing to pay extra if they see value for what they are going out for,” said Daniel adding that compared to the average ticket price Sala160 in multiplexes, the company offers rates of Rs. 360-370, without making a significant difference.

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Updated: 15 November 2023, 11:29 PM IST

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