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A Cinépolis multiplex in Acapulco (public domain image from Wikipedia)

The big news in the global exhibition market this week is the announcement that the largest cinema chain in Latin America, Cinépolis of Mexico, is to open up to 500 cinema screens in India. The initial launch is of 110 screens in multiplexes of 10 screens or more in eight Indian cities (Indian multiplexes are mostly less than ten screens).

Cinépolis is the fifth largest cinema chain in the world but has previously not moved beyond Central and South America. If the launch is carried through it will introduce a major overseas player into the Indian market and will potentially challenge the ways in which Indian distribution and exhibition has operated (the Indian cinema sector has recently experienced a stand-off between Bollywood producers and multiplexes with new product not reaching many screens).

The Mexican company was founded in 1947 and has recently been seen as an innovator. It has both upmarket (‘VIP’) and low-cost cinema brands that could be introduced alongside its standard multiplexes. Mexico is one of the international territories that has recently seen an increase in admissions to over 170 million per year. This is dwarfed by the 3 billion Indian admissions annually, but it still places Mexico in the Top 5 cinema markets.


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