Soccer fever strikes at multiplexes in Mumbai

Mumbai: Major multiplexes of Mumbai give vent to the FIFA fever. Not one or two, but three multiplexes – Fame, Cinemax and Inox are geared up to screen FIFA World Cup 2006. Cinemax will be screening it at Thane and Versova and Fame will screen it at Andheri and Malad. The ticket prices will range from Rs.200 to Rs.500.

“Fame has always been an active player in live events. We have screened not just FIFA 2002 but also cricket matches and plays,” says Rahul Merchant, Head Sales and Marketing, Shringar Films.

Fame is geared up to start screenings of quarter final matches beginning June 30, continuing till the finals on July 9. But Inox has a different arrangement. Inox will not open the screening to general public.

They are making arrangements for a special screening for corporate clients like airlines, banks and other financial institutions. Fearing the element of risk involved, Navin Fernandes, Manager Movie Promotions, Inox says, “With Superman Returns releasing on June 30 and Corporate releasing on July 7, it is a big risk to screen the FIFA. Besides the late night shows run houseful in my multiplex, hence we cannot afford to cancel such big movies”.

Meanwhile ESPN is said to be seeking a sum of Rs.1.75 lakh for the live telecast of the matches per multiplex per match. By canceling the screening of movies and holding and alternate event, multiplexes have to compulsorily pay entertainment tax 40 -45 %. Thus it will be interesting to see how the theatres can make money by screening the FIFA 2006 World Cup in the theatres.