Leading multiplex chain PVR unveiled its new sub- brand, P[XL] in Mani Square, Kolkata. P[XL] is PVR’s home grown big movie screen format known as Premium Extra Large. The company aims to have 10 such screens in the next 12 months. PVR is investing around Rs.5.2 crores in setting up one P [XL] screen. PVR has also filed for trademark and patent on the format. Under this format, PVR will use two 4K projectors to show films on "extra-large wall-to-wall screens", backed by Dolby Atmos sound. Gautam Dutta, CEO, PVR Ltd., talks about the new screen format.
So, tell us about the idea behind introducing this home grown screen format at PVR. What exactly is it and what sort of capex did it entail for you?
Having witnessed the stupendous growth of Indian cinema, PVR has always gone an extra mile to provide the best to its patrons. P[XL] is a result of our strong R&D over the years and mapping different logistics that we have come up with this unparalleled screen format.
We have been working at it for a very long time and finally got the right concoction to possibly launch our own brand because if you take a macro view of the technologies that all cinema companies use, we are technically buying these technologies from manufacturers of a certain experience. So there is IMAX, 4DX, new 3D system, etc. and we felt that the time had come and the markets were mature enough to see a new technology emerge which could possibly play all sorts of content and give viewers a great experience. And that is how we came up with this whole concept of P[XL] and this was largely what we pegged it on. It was a mesmerizing impactful experience and that is where the whole brief to the technology department was. We looked at even such aspects of design which nobody else has ever looked at – from leg room seat width to design aspects to F&B concepts. So it is kind of a technology packaged with a lot of comforts built-in as well.
How will this change the movie viewing experience at PVR as a whole?
This is the first time ever in India that a cinema company has introduced a unique large screen format for a truly enigmatic movie viewing experience. P[XL] reiterates our promise of keeping the innovation alive in our offerings to the cinemas. It will bring a fresh change in cinema viewing and we are confident that the patrons will appreciate this brand new format.
What kind of footfalls have you seen in the eastern market and what kind of growth do you expect?
Eastern market is an important location for PVR Cinemas. So, we currently have close to about 22 screens in east of India and we garner about 23- 25 percent market share from this market. We hope that with the launch of P[XL], we should be able to take the growth higher.
Do you think the introduction of the new screen format will take the company right on its strategized business plan?
With the added features of PVR’s P[XL], we firmly believe that we have victory in our hands. With higher quality of projection, seats and sound, the patrons will definitely find this format better than the mainstream viewing. We always look forward to giving our patrons newer and better technologies. As a part of our strategy, we have always brought in the latest concepts in cinemas to Indian audiences.
Will features, in terms of seating arrangements or the ambience at P[XL] formats, be any different than the PVR screen formats? Please elaborate.
P[XL] auditoriums are equipped with extra-large wall- to- wall screen, state of the art Dolby Atmos moving sound technology and Dual 4K projection system with customized 3D glasses to bring alive every little detail of the movie. Every element in a P[XL] theatre is designed to create an impact with immersive 3D experience, crystal clear sound and unparalleled brightness and picture quality. Another notable feature about the P[XL] auditorium is the 4 different types of seating available in one audi. It comprises of recliners, loungers, sofa seats and mainstream seating with extra leg room, delivering a truly comfortable movie viewing experience. Also, as the name P[XL] suggests, everything in P[XL] is extra large. Starting from the screen size to the number of seats, everything at P[XL] is larger than a normal PVR audi. P[XL] audis have a capacity of 340- 370 seats whereas a normal audi has the capacity of 200- 250 seats.
Tell us about the ticket prices at the P[XL].
The tickets will fall under the premium category and the prices will differ from market to market. For instance, in Mumbai and Bengaluru, there will be an addition of Rs.120- Rs.150 additional charge to the tickets.
What are the future plans for P[XL] in terms of market expansion?
We plan to introduce two P[XL]s in Mumbai and one in Bengaluru this financial year. In the next financial year 2018-19, we will be further introducing 10 P[XL] screens in markets such as Pune, Kochi, Chandigarh, Hyderabad, Delhi, Chennai, Gurgaon, Noida, Surat and Ahmedabad.
Talking about the movies in pipeline, how do you think PVR’s P[XL] will perform and more importantly, how has some of the recent movies like Simran, etc. have done for you?
If we talk about movies slated to come in Q3, one might say that Thor: Ragnarok and Justice League are the kind of action movies which will have a big impact on P[XL] screens. However having said that, with our technology through P[XL], each and every movie will have that bigger and better impact.
Recent movies like Judwa 2 have performed well with the release during the extended weekend and even continued to perform during the weekdays. Movies like Shubh Mangal Savdhan and Simran which are content heavy are also being preferred by the patrons.