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How Mexican chain Cinepolis is doing its best to corner the movie-going experience in India

Photographs by Soumik Kar

For someone so inextricably linked to the film business, Javier Sotomayor manages to catch just three movies each month. In fact, the last one he watched was the Leonardo DiCaprio-starrer The Revenant early March at his 14-screen megaplex in Thane, near suburban Mumbai. Most of the films he does watch are on DVD, that too when he gets a breather from work. After all, the 44-year-old is busy trying to take his company Cinépolis India from 226 screens currently to 400 by next year. Headquartered at Morelia city in Mexico, the global megaplex player appointed Sotomayor as its India MD in 2013. With its acquisition of Essel Group’s 83-screen strong Fun Cinemas multiplex chain for Rs.550 crore in January last year, Cinépolis today is the fourth largest player in India’s growing film exhibition industry. This buyout also gave Cinépolis a foothold in the key Delhi market and a presence in smaller centres such as Ambala, Coimbatore, Dibrugarh and Ranchi.