New screens to add Rs 70 mn revenues for big ticket films

Mumbai: From December, as many as 33 theatre properties will commence operations in various metros, mini-metros and small towns of India. Multiplex companies such as BIG Cinemas, Cinemax, Fame, Fun Cinemas, Inox and PVR Cinemas are gearing up to add approximately 33 properties to the Indian exhibition business in the third quarter of 2008.

With these additions, a total of 106 new screens and 31,768 seats will be added to the existing count.

Speaking to Businessofcinema.com, Fame Cinemas managing director Shravan Shroff said, "Every multiplex company tries and opens new properties when big movies are releasing or during a festive season. Every exhibitor is growing. The extra revenue, which our additional screens will bring, is good for the film industry."

Taking into account that not all companies get licenses to start their multiplex operations on targeted time, one would see approximately 75 screens (out of a target of 106 screens) commencing operations, which then adds up to 22,500 seats till December.

NEW MULTIPLEX SCREEN ADDITIONS
Company No. of Properties
No. of Screens
No. of Seats
BIG Cinemas
13 26 10,420
Cinemax 6 19 5,499
Fame 4 15 4.182
Fun Cinemas
3 12 2,950
Inox 5 21 5,350
PVR Cinemas
2 13 3,457

The big ticket movies releasing during the December-January period are Shah Rukh Khan-starrer Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi directed by Aditya Chopra, Aamir Khan-starrer Ghajini directed by A. Murgadoss and Akshay Kumar-starrer Chandni Chowk to China directed by Nikhil Advani. These movies are slated to release on 12 December, 25 December and 16 January respectively. Therefore, these movies will certainly reap the benefits that the additional 75 screens will bring.

"Since the industry’s biggest names are attached to these movies, they will get a good opening and good number of shows. So one can expect these movies to have an average occupancy of 60 percent for two weeks across India," said Inox vice president programming and distribution Utpal Acharya.

Going by the above-mentioned numbers and as per industry estimates, these additional 75 screens will fetch up to Rs 70 million (Rs 7 crores) of gross box office revenue in two weeks for big ticket films like Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi, Ghajini and Chandni Chowk To China.

"Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi, Ghajini and Chandni Chowk To China belong to different genres, but will have a good audience appeal across mixed segments. These movies are as it is expected to make good money at the box office and now the additional screens will be an added benefit to them," said PVR programming head Prakhar Joshi.

Recently, when the release date of Chandni Chowk To China was postponed from the Diwali week to January, rumours were rife in the trade that producers of the movie thought it fit to postpone the movie to next year because of the additional screens that were slated to open up across the country. This in turn would automatically translate into more revenues than the previous Akshay Kumar starrer Singh Is Kinng.

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