Carnival Cinemas, a late entrant to the multiplex business which has shown aggression in acquiring other cinema chains, has now taken over the operations of Maharashtra-based E-Square Cinemas. As part of its strategic tie-up, Shrikant Bhasi-led cinema chain will take over the existing 37 operations screens this month and also upcoming screens as and when they start running.

According to the MD of Carnival, the deal will generate an additional 100 crores as revenue for them annually; wherein they won’t be buying the company but will be taking over the daily operations including the operations of the upcoming cinemas and has also said that there will be around 50 cinemas added more in the coming 5-6 months. This take over by Carnival has taken them to the second spot in terms of the screens they have in Maharashtra.

The really good thing about this deal is that E-Square cinemas have a strong presence in Pune and is also present in Pimpri, Aurangabad, Beed, Ahmednagar, Solapur, Latur, Parbhani, Yavatmal, and Nanded. So they are basically tapping into such tier-2 and tier-3 markets which is really needed so more and more people from those markets can come out and watch the film.

A few weeks prior to this we had spoken about INOX acquiring and tapping into markets and a few weeks prior to that we had spoken about PVR doing that. So, we are slowly but steadily getting there. Slowly bridging the gap between the number of people and number of screens in the country. In this issue a few weeks ago we had also mentioned about the difference in the number of screens we have here and those in China; the difference is huge. But then again, these multiplex companies are slowly picking the pace and acquiring/building new properties across and increasing the number of screens we have in the country.

To put it in perspective, out of 1.2 billion people in India, approximately 35 million is the highest footfalls we get for our films. That’s around 70 million people not coming to the theaters or not being to get to the theaters due to the meagre number of screens. Even if we somehow manage to double the number of current screens in the next 2-3 years, it’s going to be really great, not only for the audience but for the industry as well.

By – Amul Vikas Mohan

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