I just came across this news in Business Week that mentions Reliance Entertainment has bought around 200 movie theaters in U.S. within last 3 months alone.
I have been quite surprised at how aggressively Anil Ambani owned, Reliance entertainment, arm of Reliance ADAG has spread the wings in such a short span. Within last 2-3 years it has entered into nearly every business in entertainment space.
A look at different ventures of Reliance Entertainment:
|Zapak||online gaming and downloads|
|Bigflicks||offering online/offline movie rentals|
|BigAdda||Indian social networking site|
|BigTV||offering direct to home (DTH) services|
|BIG92.7FM||India’s largest private FM radio network|
|ADLAB Films||producer, distributor, processor and movie theater owner of Indian cinemas|
|BIGCinemas||Largest chain movie Theaters in US :)|
Did I miss out any?
So why is Reliance buying movie theaters in US?
Reliance says it hopes to reach Bollywood fans in the U.S. through its American movie theaters. “The nature of the U.S. chain provides a significant fillip to Indian film distribution in terms of directly and efficiently reaching a large base of Indian consumers,” says Anil Arjun, a senior vice-president at Reliance Entertainment. The group has purchased the theaters from mom-and-pop operators and will give them better acoustics and air conditioning. Reliance will not divulge the cost of its investment or the names of the sellers. The plan is to target areas with the densest populations of the Indian Diaspora in the U.S., bringing them Bollywood movies as well as regional Indian films in languages like Tamil and Telegu and other Asian languages such as Chinese, Korean, and Japanese. Reliance plans to rechristen the theaters as “Big Cinemas.” [source]
Is Reliance spreading itself too thin getting into every line of business?
As per B.R. Sharan, chief creative officer at SaReGaMa Films,:
“It’s a typical Reliance strategy, Own the hardware—cinemas—and you control the entire supply chain.”
Given the growth of Bollywood movies and soaring popularity of Indian stars in the west, this seems to be the perfect move!