Thai firm aims to be a force with 1,000 screens

NEXT CHANGE: Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is expected to draw Thai fans.


    Jul 18, 2016

    Thai firm aims to be a force with 1,000 screens


    THERE is still good potential in Thailand for the cinema industry to expand, as there are still relatively few movie screens there compared with other markets in Asia.

    Vicha Poolvaraluck, chairman of Major Cineplex Group, said there are few screens relative to Thailand's large population of 65 million.

    United International Pictures, a film distributor, says there are about 1,100 cinemas in Thailand.

    But in Malaysia, which has a population of 26 million, the number of cinema screens is as high as 1,000, Mr Vicha said.

    South Korea's 54 million people are served by 2,200 cinema screens. On average, South Koreans view four movies in the cinemas per year.

    In China, with a population of 1.2 billion, there are as many as 40,000 cinemas, and 1.2 billion tickets are sold per year.

    Mr Vicha said Thai movies will play a key role in the remaining months of this year, with the film industry expected to grow by 10 per cent.

    He said 21 Thai films were set to be screened across the country in the remaining months.

    The line-up of Hollywood blockbusters is also looking impressive, such as Suicide Squad, Sinister Six, Resident Evil 6, Doctor Strange and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.

    The company is targeting revenue growth of more than 10 per cent this year from 8.58 billion baht (S$330.8 million) in 2015.

    To support sustainable growth, Major plans to have a total of 1,000 screens by 2020, up from 630 now.

    Suwat Thongrompo, chief executive of SF Corporation, an operator of multiplex theatres, said the movie industry was doing better than expected. There had been concerns that this year's line-up of blockbusters could not match the 2015 roster.

    There was a strong line-up of mainstream movies last year, including Fast & Furious 7, Avengers: Age Of Ultron and Jurassic World.