India’s largest cinema chain PVR Cinemas has crossed 900 screens with the opening of three new multiplexes in Bengaluru, Jaipur and Gurugram this past Monday, with a total of 19 new screens. The announcement comes on the eve of PVR’s merger with India’s second largest multiplex operator INOX Leisure, which was approved by the Mumbai bench of the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) 13 January.
In total PVR Cinemas operates 903 screens at 181 properties in 78 cities across India and Sri Lanka. The company has been expanding in Southern India, which accounts for 40% to 45% of the organization’s revenue. Around 10% of PVR’s new screens opened this financial year are premium or luxury. The company plans to have opened a total of 100 news screens by the end of the financial year 2023. The new multiplexes will open in Chennai, Lucknow, Ahmedabad and Bhubaneswar.
With the opening of the 3 new properties on a single day, we have now added 63 screens in the current fiscal. This expansion is in-line with our overall commitment of opening about 100 screens by FY 2023-end. We have a strong pipeline of screens in various stages of fitments and expect to add another 35-40 screens by the end of this quarter. This will help us strengthen our presence in existing markets and also open properties in new cities.Sanjeev Kumar Bijli, Joint Managing Director, PVR
Indian box office revenue currently stands at 80% of pre-pandemic levels. It is expected that a full recovery is possible either this quarter or in the first quarter of the new financial year (i.e. after 1 April). PVR will invest INR 100 crore (USD $12.25 million) to build the next 100 screens, of which 30 will come up this quarter. The company will have a particular focus on newer cities, especially in the south and east parts of India, where PVR currently has a negligible presence. PVR has ruled out further international expansion, beyond the nine screens it operates in Sri Lanka, to focus on the domestic market. Post-merger the unified PVR-INOX will have over 1,600 screens.