What’s happening — after the pandemic absolutely ravaged the movie-theater business, India’s largest movie chain, PVR Cinemas, is now looking to merge its operation with the No.4 in the game, Cinépolis, in a deal worth ₹13,600 crores!
That’s the first mega multiplex consolidation event here locally post COVID, and certainly won’t be the last!
Ever since footfalls fell and most movie-production stalled during lockdowns, the theaters have been bleeding horribly. PVR, for example, saw revenues spiral down from ₹3,500 crores pre-COVID, to a chillar-₹300 crores last year. That’s a death sentence.
Recovery has been slow too: once-in-a-decade type of movies, the big money showdowns like Spiderman, Batman, and Bollywood-staples, have managed to pull in record foot traffic. But that’s exactly what the pundits were worried about — that people would come out only for top-names, while everything else gets relegated to be streamed from the comforts of the holy couch!
So, by joining hands, the PVR-Cinepolis alliance could control over 1,200 screens across India — which means the duo can negotiate better deals with distributors and producers, create loyalty programs (like AMC-stubs), push expansion into rural areas too, and cut costs from marketing, staffing and from competing against each other.
Talks are still half baked though. And how regulators think about the power gained by the combination, and how giants like INOX and react could determine the fate of the deal.
Worth mentioning — Indian film industry lost over ₹15,000 crore in revenue in the last 2 years. Unique times demand unique solutions.