Major set to open 100 cinemas next year

Major set to open 100 cinemas next year

Chain earmarks 1.2 billion baht budget

The exterior of CentralFestival EastVille shopping complex, where the 86th Major cinema is located. The shopping mall on Pradit Manutham Road was officially opened yesterday.
The exterior of CentralFestival EastVille shopping complex, where the 86th Major cinema is located. The shopping mall on Pradit Manutham Road was officially opened yesterday.

SET-listed Major Cineplex Group Plc has earmarked 1.2 billion baht to open 100 new cinemas nationwide next year in a bid to boost revenue by 10-15%.

The investment budget will not cover further expansion in Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam, which will be made through partnerships with local investors.

Chairman Vicha Poolvaraluck said Major, the country's largest cinema chain, planned to invest and expand both locally and regionally to serve rising entertainment and lifestyle demand from consumers.

"I find the cinema business is resilient even though the country has been facing a sluggish economy. Many people still want to spend time and money to relax and watching movies is the easiest and most convenient way to entertain themselves," he said.

The opening of 100 new cinemas next year will be in both Bangkok and major provinces across the country. New shopping projects will provide more opportunities for Major's new cinemas.

Normally, the company opens 30 new cinemas a year but 2016's expansion will be at a faster pace due to the increasing number of both Thai and international films lining up to be shown next year.

Mr Vicha hopes the cinema expansion in Thailand and some destinations in Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam will help boost revenue by 10-15% next year.

Major expects full-year revenue in 2015 to reach 10 billion baht. Its nine-month revenue stood at 7.15 billion baht.

Of the total revenue in those nine months, 70% or 5 billion baht came from the cinema business and the remainder from bowling and karaoke, cinema advertising, film distribution, food and beverage, and rent.

Major now has 86 cinemas, 84 of which are in Thailand. The latest, Eastville Cineplex, was officially opened at CentralFestival EastVille shopping mall on Pradit Manutham Road yesterday. It has one in Laos and another in Cambodia.

Mr Vicha said Major recently entered a joint venture with South Korea's CJ Entertainment to produce 10 movies in the next three years. Production of the first film is expected to start next year.

"This collaboration is a bid to expand the local movie business and grow our revenue in the future," he said.

The partnership with Major will help CJ Entertainment expand its film business across Southeast Asia. CJ Entertainment's strength lies in film production, while Major has a very large cinema chain in Thailand and already has a presence in Cambodia and Laos.

MAJOR shares closed yesterday on the SET at 31.25 baht, unchanged, in trade worth 25.6 million baht.

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