“When it comes to introducing a new specialization format, we first test the program and then, if the results are satisfactory, we launch it in large numbers,” Renault Paliercompany general manager luxury collection what PVR told ET.
The company will initially launch three ICE Theatres, one each in Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore.
“The first three will appear very quickly, within the next six months. We will be launching them within about 12 months and we will have enough data to move the project forward,” Palier added. “If everything is in order, we will go for a more substantial deployment. We’re looking at probably 20 screens, and if they perform really well, we can go further.”
While he declined to give details about the cost of the screen, he said the screens would begin to turn a profit within three years.
“As part of our agreement with CGR, we have signed non-disclosure agreements, so we cannot disclose the cost, but we expect a payback within three years after these costs are incurred. This will simply be due to an increase in occupancy due to the expected popularity of the format, as well as a slight increase in ticket prices,” Palier explained.
He added that the price increase would not be too big, and in line with the money to be spent on any other specialized format the company currently operates, including IMAX, 4DX or PXL.
ICE Theater is like surround sound for visual effects. It has side panels that, in combination with the screen, create a peripheral vision that does not distract the viewer from the main action or image, but gives a sense of heightened immersion through this background contrast of colors and movement.
More than 100 Hollywood films have been released at the ICE Theater to date, including Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, Batman, Fantastic Beasts: Dumbledore, Morbius, Sonic the Hedgehog. 2″, “Jurassic World: Dominion” and “Top Gun: Maverick”.
Since this format is coming to India, PVR hopes that even Indian producers will agree to have their films remastered for this format.
By the way, the studios do not have to pay for the mastering of their films for this format.
“For this to happen, the studios don’t incur any costs, so the main hurdle has already been removed. Secondly, since there is no change to the main image, there is no creative challenge,” he added.
In April, PVR Cinemas entered into a similar exclusive agreement with Oma Cinemas, a premium auditorium concept created by French architect Pierre Chikan, to roll out opera theater-style cinemas in India. PVR is working on a pilot project that is expected to be ready within 18-24 months.
PVR, which has a total of 858 screens, offers several premium formats – IMAX, 4DX, Playhouse, Gold, LUXE, PXL, ONYX, Drive-in and Director’s Cut. Currently, premium screens make up less than 15% of total PVR screens, and Pallier says that figure will increase over time.
“At the group level, premium screens make up about 15% of total screens, and that figure is increasing over time as there is strong and ongoing demand for more premium experiences,” he said.