Sep 5, 2008

Entertainment - India;Scrabble to digitise 200 screens

Will invest Rs 80 cr for the venture
MUMBAI: Thanks to the efforts of Scrabble Entertainment, multiplexes will now no more have to share movie prints and limit screenings.
The digital cinema deployment company is planning to invest Rs 80 crore to digitise 200 screens across multiplexes in the country by December.
This move will allow multiplex owners to programme shows independently, assign extra screenings to a hit film and drop screenings of a flop film. Till now, limited availability of movie prints forced multiplexes in close vicinity to share prints and consciously avoid overlap in show timings.
Scrabble will deploy digital cinema hardware Christie DLP Cinema projectors in multiplexes and also circulate digital prints.
The company has already installed 2K D-cinema projectors in about 40 multiplex screens including PVR, Fun Cinemas, Inox and Fame Cinemas. It spends Rs 40 lakh on each screen and earns revenue through a regular virtual print fee from exhibitors based on the number of digital prints allotted to them.
Ranjit Thakur, CEO, Scrabble Entertainment, said, “Our 2K DCI compliant digital platform is on par with the global standards since it has superior sound and picture quality. It will change the way movies are shown in India. Exhibitors will have increased revenue and lower operational costs while the content providers will substantially save on print costs.”
Most importantly, piracy will be curtailed with our mass deployment.”
Apart from showing 3D content - at least 40 films are likely to be released till 2010 in 3D- this will also allow Hollywood Studios to release their films in India on the same day and date as their US release.
The business model· Scrabble spends Rs 40 lakh to install the equipment, and receives Rs 18 lakh upfront from exhibitor
· Exhibitor passes on his operational savings of Rs 3 lakh annually for three years, followed by extended comprehensive warranty of Rs 1 lakh per year for 3 years
· Scrabble funds balance amount of Rs 10 lakh per system earned through virtual print fee (VPF) of Rs 20,000 per multiplex. For every additional digital print required, exhibitor pays Rs 10,000
· All print conversion costs are borne by Scrabble

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