April has turned out to be a normal month for the multiplexes across the country compared with the last few months.
The country's cricket-crazy population had sidelined movies to watch its favourite game for much of March but mercifully, April is better.
According to industry estimates, the movie theatre business lost over Rs. 50 crore during the first three-months of 2011. But now, people are back to watching movies and the business is back to normal — and that is also thanks to the fact that Indian Premier League (IPL) matches are not really a rage this time.
During the World Cup, the occupancy rate of the theaters dipped 15-20%. “We have seen around 20% reductions in the seat occupancy rates during the cricket season,” said Jayendra Banerji, vice-president (operations), Satyam Cinemas.
The impact of the World Cup was serious. In fact, most of the multiplexes undertook renovation, maintenance and other up-gradation activities during the event.
“Expecting the holiday season ahead, we used the dull time to upgrade the screens and auditoriums,” Banerji said.
But now the outlook is positive as the footfall has decently revived. “Our good days are back. From the last season onwards, IPL is not at all affecting our business,” said Tushar Dhingra, chief operating officer, BIG cinemas.
“The fact that makes us smile is a pretty good line-up of movies and a reduced craze for IPL,” said Alok Tandon, chief executive officer, Inox Leisure.
Multiplex owners are confident that its the end of cricket season. “IPL is like a local event which happens every year. Even movie makers don’t delay the releases due to such events,” said Pramod Arora, group president, PVR cinemas.
World Cup effected the earnings of cinema business but towards the semi-final and final stages, multiplexes minted money too. All of the major multiplexes in Delhi earned ‘housefull’ of audience during the last matches of the cup.
“The occupancy rate during the showcase of league stage matches was around 30% but for the last four matches we had 100% seats filled,” said Arora.