Movies

Alternate content not working for multiplexes

MUMBAI: With the producers and multiplex operators still at loggerheads, the latter had decided to opt for some alternate content mainly comprising small-budget and unreleased films to generate revenue streams. However, with the dismal failure of Ek Se Bure Do and Pal Pal Dil Ke Ssat at the box office, the plex-owners‘ plans seems to be heading for a phut!

Playing on the theatrical performance of the latest releases, the market is abuzz that these films will be pulled out within a very short period and that films of such kind may henceforth not find a way to the multiplexes.


Contesting this, Cinemax VP marketing Devang Sampat avers: "Both the films have indeed not done well. However, as per the agreement with the respective distributors, the films will be taken off only next Thursday and not earlier than that."


Commenting on their programming format in the future, Sampat divulges, "We have decided to rework our programming strategy from week-to-week, but, yes, we are still not against exhibiting small-budget films."


On its part, Inox did not release Ek Se Bure Do in Mumbai as part of their programming strategy but opened it in other territories including Gujarat, Rajasthan and UP. Says a senior official from Inox, "Ek Se Bure Do saw a 10-15 per cent occupancy across the Hindi belt. The film did not witness much promotions and therefore, as a strategy, we did not release it in Mumbai."


"The other film Pal Pal Dil Ke Ssat opened to 10-15 per cent capacity yesterday but today it has improved to 25 per cent in our Mumbai plexes. In the states where it was released, Ek Se Bure Do was steady at between 10 to 15 per cent," he adds.


The current scenario needs a good lot of rethinking on alternate content. Says Anil Nagrath of Nagrath Consultants, "What we should now do is wait and watch as to how many people go in to see these films during the week."


Along with a possible bad content in films, it is the rates of admission that will be a deterrent factor. "Who will go to see a small-budget film at rates applicable for a big star cast movie?" Nagrath asks.


In that case, theatres will practically go empty. According to a rule, if a theatre has less than 50 people in the audience in a particular show, the management has every right to cancel the show.


Nagrath futher explains, "While anyone will pay a hefty price for a Shah Rukh Khan or an Akshay Kumar film, why would they pay the same amount for a film starring cricketers like Ajay Jadeja and Vinod Kambli or for that matter Arshad Warsi and Rajpal Yadav?"


The ultimate is that multiplexes will have to categorise ticket rates based on films, Nagrath suggests.

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