India’s Scrabble Entertainment has signed non–exclusive D-cinema deployment agreements with five US studios to roll out digital screens in the Middle East.
The five studios are Twentieth Century Fox International, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures International, Paramount Pictures International, Universal Pictures International and Warner Bros Pictures.
Scrabble acts as an intermediary between content providers and exhibitors. Using the Virtual Print Fee (VPF) business model, Scrabble finances the exhibitors’ transition to digital by collecting a negotiated VPF from movie distributors and producers.
The company has already deployed 220 screens across 23 cities in India, with plans for a further 250 screens by next year. In the Middle East it plans to roll out more than 400 digital screens over the next two years. Territories that have been earmarked include the United Arab Emirates, Lebanon, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, Oman, Jordan and Syria.
“Scrabble Entertainment has already managed to gain a strong foothold in the Indian entertainment market. We now have a much better understanding of the business. Since our funding and infrastructure is in place, it’s time to move to other markets. The Middle East, for many reasons, was our obvious first choice,” said Scrabble CEO Ranjit Thakur.
In response to the broad 3D slate announced by the major studios, Scrabble also aims to significantly increase the number of screens capable of playing 3D content within the region.