E-City launches cinemas in hinterlands


MUMBAI: E-City Ventures, the corporate arm representing various interests in the cinema exhibition business of the Essel Group, has today announced the National launch of its value cinema exhibition brand Talkie Town. With existing properties in Gulburga, a 4 screen multiplex (previously called Fun Junction) and its second property in Hyderabad (which opened on November 9th), E-City Ventures aims to solidify and strengthen the cinema exhibition infrastructure in the hinterlands of India.

Says Mr. Atul Goel, CEO E-City Ventures, “The tier II and tier III markets are increasingly gaining importance in our business. For the year 2006-7, the business contributed by non metros was approximately 55% of the Company’s total revenues. This has encouraged the Company to focus on a hinterland roll out and expansion plan.”

Today, on average, the 400 multiplex screens contribute to almost 30-35% of the all language theatrical collections; however, the multiplex screens have gained greater importance as far as the Hindi film business is concerned. But, the remaining 12,000 single screens in the country are still influenced by the traditional ways of working since there haven’t been any tax breaks for the existing single screens and no investments have been made to disturb the inertia of minimum guarantees. Above all, the industry players failed to realize that if a change in the business model suits the multiplex well, the same would hold true for the single screens.

In addition Mr. Goel says, “E-City Ventures exhibition plan will focus on multiplex and single screen refurbishment since 65-70% market still exists there. Talkie Town the cinema exhibition value brand of E-City Ventures would endeavour to tap the potential and roll out 250 value screens in Tier II & Tier III cities by end of 2011. “

“E-City Ventures believes in giving a better environment to their viewers which can lead to enhanced revenues for distributors/ producers and multiplexes and along with single screen refurbishment, higher box-office collections as well,” adds Mr. Goel.