IPL a disaster at Multiplexes

The high profile third season of the Indian Premier League (IPL) proved to be a dud at the theatres, with few turning up at multiplexes except for the semi-finals and the final, industry sources said.

Around 800 screens around India, including close to 65 in Delhi and surrounding areas, participated in the high definition live event that offered uninterrupted advertisement-free viewing from March 12 to April 25.

With ticket prices equivalent to movie ticket prices, cinema halls across the country decided to create a stadium-like atmosphere by screening live the matches — also because not many big budget films were released during the period, largely due to Classes 10 and 12 exams. But all in vain, as per experts.

‘The response for the total tournament across our property has been average. The overall average occupancy has been only 20 percent. It was only during the semi-finals and the final that it picked up momentum and went housefull,’ Amit Awasthi, manager (programming and operations) of Spice Cinemas, told IANS.

‘When we started at movie prices, there was no footfall but we slashed ticket prices to Rs.50 and Rs.70, then too the occupancy suffered and was only around 25 percent. From next time, we’ll have to think twice about screening it and that too at reconsidered prices,’ he added.

Yogesh Raizada, corporate head (cinemas) of Wave Cinemas, also echoed the same view.

‘Overall the expectations that we had with the IPL weren’t fulfilled. It started with just 10 percent occupancy and there was no buzz. It was only during the final that it picked up and went housefull but still the average occupancy was only around 10-12 percent,’ said Raizada.

Added Amit Shah, chief manager (programming) of DLF DT cinemas: ‘The initial response to IPL wasn’t great, but the semi-finals and the final were almost housefull across all our properties. The last eight matches picked up buzz and were almost packed.’

The league also tied up with UFO Moviez for 3-D screening of the the last four matches – two semi-finals, third play and the fourth play matches on April 21, 22, 24 and 25 respectively that went jam packed.

‘It did not meet our expectations. The average occupancy was only 30 percent at the max. However, the finals were very good with close to 80 percent occupancy,’ said a source from PVR cinemas.

‘Moreover, the 3-D response was very good that fetched us almost 100 percent occupancy even in properties across cities like Ludhiana and Allahabad,’ the source added.


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