Major Cineplex Group Plc, Thailand’s largest cinema operator, is looking to expand further in Indochina as the region’s entertainment industry develops.
“Cambodia, Myanmar and Laos are fresh entertainment markets, and we should take this opportunity to establish our presence in these countries before our rivals,” said Major Cineplex chairman Vicha Poolvaraluck.
Major’s goal is to introduce 100 screens in good locations over the next five years, mostly in Cambodia, Myanmar and Laos, where consumer demand is strong but modern cinemas are in short supply.
The SET-listed cinema chain has formed a partnership with Platinum Cineplex, a leading Cambodian cinema operator, to set up a joint venture called Major Platinum Cambodia to run cinemas under the Major Cineplex brand. Major holds a 70% stake in the venture and the Cambodians 30%.
Through this cornerstone partnership, Major Cineplex will jump into Laos and Myanmar in the near future, Vicha said.
Indonesian tycoon Raam Punjabi, owner of Platinum Cineplex, said that under this partnership, its first cinema with five screens would open at the Vientiane Centre shopping mall in Xaysettha district of Laos by the end of this year. The theatre at this high-profile shopping mall will cost about Bt100 million.
“We are also in talks with a business partner in Myanmar to open a theatre next year – Punjabi, who is renowned as ‘Indonesia’s king of soap opera and cinema’,” he said. Punjabi is president-director of Jakarta-based Multivision Plus, a leading film and TV production house.
On Monday, the joint venture opened its first flagship movie theatre at Aeon Mall, a new high-profile shopping complex at the heart of the commercial district of Phnom Penh. Major Cineplex by Cellcard combines seven screens with 1,560 seats, including VIP, 2D, 3D and 4DX, and 13 bowling lanes for “Cellcard Blu-o”.
Thailand, meanwhile, remains Major’s core revenue generator with a target of 1,000 screens by 2020, up from 700 now. The company aims for revenue growth of 10% to 8.4 billion baht this year.
Source: The Nation / Bangkok Post