Movies

Multiplexes in race for 3D screens before Avatar release

MUMBAI: Such is the buzz around James Cameron‘s Avatar that multiplexes across India are gearing up to encash on it before the movie hits theatres on 18 December.


Filmed with a fusion camera developed by Cameron himself, Avatar is expected to revolutionise film-watching experience for which multiplexes are investing huge amounts for upgrading their infrastructure to bring this extravaganza to moviegoers in 3D.


Commenting on the hype around Avatar, Fox Star Studios India, CEO Vijay Singh says, "There is an incredible buzz building up for Avatar across the India media, our theatrical partners and the core audiences.


"The dramatic increase in the number of 3D screens, as well as the strong interest that we are getting from the Hindi, Tamil and Telugu language markets reaffirms the strong buzz for the film."


While Avatar will be released in 2D as well as 3D formats, theatre owners are particularly expecting a huge demand for 3D version. From the time producers Fox Star Studios screened a 20 minutes footage of the film for exhibitors in August, the number of 2D and 3D screens in India have increased from around 12 to 40 and 60 to 70 screens respectively till 18 December.


This covers cities across India including major markets like Mumbai, Delhi, Pune, Bengaluru, Chennai and Hyderabad as well as smaller centers like Coimbatore, Amritsar, Kerala, Jaipur and Ahmedabad.


Says Fame Cinemas AVP - Distribution, Programming and Corporate Sales Aditya Shroff, "I believe that the 3D version of Avatar is going to be the revolutionary movie for this generation and hence we are trying to go as wide as possible with the 3D release. To me Avatar will do to 3D what Reliance did to mobile phone usage in India."


Fun Cinemas COO Vikas Kapur avers, " We had already installed 3D screens in our plexes in Andheri and Chembur by Scrable Entertainment before we screened Journey To The Centre of the Earth last year. Yes, by the time the film is released, our plexes at Bengaluru and Amritsar will have 3D screens in place.


To a question as to what makes multiplexes interested in fitting their plexes with 3D screens, Kapur avers," After Titanic, James Cameron has come out with a beautiful film in Avatar, the trailers of which are being show all around. Since, they feel that the film, a mix of animation and action, will do great business, multiplex owners are going in for 3D screens."


Adds Scrabble Entertainment CEO Ranjit Thakur, "The askance for 2K Digital and 3D Systems is coming from all corners of the county. Even the single-screen exhibitors want to capitalise on the opportunity of screening Avatar in 3D."


"The demand for the film has created a worldwide shortage of digital equipment and even silver screens for 3D are hard to get," Thakur adds.


In the past, 3D Hollywood films like Ice Age 3, Final Destination and Journey To The Centre of the Earth have done good business in India.

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