Multiplexes: the 'multi-revenue' debate rages

MUMBAI: The celebrated terminology ‘multi revenue generator‘ synergises with the new phase of film exhibition that is the multiplex era as well. Volumes have been written about the shift from single screen to multiplexes.

However, the new side of this subject is the umpteen number of avenues through which money is flowing in and "Multiplexes: Multi revenue streams" was another heated discussion on the last day of Ficci Frames 08‘.

Dimple Cine Advertising MD Kamal Karamchandani, Pyramid Saimira MD P.S Saminathan, Inox Leisure Ltd COO Alok Tandon, Chivach Media CEO Soumo Ganguly and Fun Multiplex CEO Ajay Mehra engaged in an series of topics related to multiplexes.

True to the session‘s topic, multiplexes have really proved to be a medium for innumerable advertising and promotional opportunities.

The audience doesn‘t step in alone to enjoy the film but also varied other things available at the multiplex.

Karamchandani points out the different promotional strategies one enjoys at the theatre. Starting from kiosks, stickers behind seats, film and other standees, product displays to leaflet distribution, he believes all this really works for a multiplex.

An interesting example of Reliance Energy came up in the discussion.

While screening a film, the theatre witnessed a blackout for a few minutes and then the screen showed up ‘Reliance Energy.‘ This, Karamchandani felt, was a great promotional activity.

Multiplexes are now smartly using the spaces for off-screen advertising as well.

They stress on the fact that these spaces are priced exorbitantly and should be used to their fullest.

However, Saminathan emphasises on the importance of differentiation in content which is literally missing.

He believes it is more of time differentiation than content, and adds, "There has to be non transparency of funds and taxes." He also says that it is difficult to judge what works for which theatre.

"A theatre which has poor infrastructure may generate more revenues than the one which is a high quality one," he states.

"Where do small films go?" was the question thrown by Ganguly.

Recently, he said, 28 out of 30 shows in a multiplex were showing Jodha Akbhar.

In the same breath he says that multiplex is certainly a boon as well, as it would have been extremely difficult to compete with mammoths like Om Shanti Om and Jodha Akbar, if one had to survive on small screens.

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