For the first time in the history of multiplexes, advance booking windows opened on Sunday for the much-awaited Krrish.
However, this phenomenon applied only to multiplexes (which usually open bookings on Wednesdays). Single screen theatres as usual opened bookings on Monday.
The Rakesh Roshan-directed film, starring Hrithik Roshan and Priyanka Chopra, is being distributed by Yash Raj Films.
Known to be aggressive about pushing their films, and establishing new benchmarks (as they did with the revenue sharing model with exhibitors with Fanaa), a Sunday advance booking for a blockbuster might well set a new trend.
The idea of opening bookings early came from Yash Raj and multiplex owners in Mumbai readily agreed. "The response has been mind-blowing. It's the first time I've seen this kind of advance booking for any film so far," said Tushar Dhingra, COO, Adlabs Cinemas.
"All the shows for the first three days at all Adlabs multiplexes across Mumbai were sold out in the morning itself. We would like to open advance bookings on Sunday in the future for other big films like this," he added.
The scenario at other multiplexes was similar. Girish Wankhede, public relations manager, Cinemax said, "The opening has been phenomenal and in the coming days the audience's curiosity about this film is only going to increase."
After the hike in ticket prices for Fanaa, Krrish too carries a premium tariff. For instance tickets at IMAX Adlabs are priced Rs 175 and Rs 200, while at R-Adlabs, tickets cost Rs 140 and Rs 160. Compare this to Fanaa where tickets at Imax did not exceed Rs 180.
On Monday morning, when the advance opened at single screen theatres, the response was just as enthusiastic.
Said Manoj Desai, owner of the G-7 Multiplex and Maratha Mandir, "We opened ticket windows at 9.30 am and by 12.30 pm the first three days were sold out. We'll open plans for next Monday today. The hype surrounding Krrish is unprecedented."
Rakesh Roshan is ecstatic. "All over the country the tickets for the first three days were sold out on Sunday morning. On Monday morning there were huge crowds at various cinemas," he said.
The next film, also distributed by Yash Raj, which might follow a similar plan could be Karan Johar's Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna. Director-producer Johar says he's open to the idea of a Sunday advance.
"Krrish is a fantastic film so it's not surprising that the first few days are sold out. If it starts the trend of opening advance bookings on Sundays, it's great, especially as many people are unable to book tickets on weekdays."
Incidentally Krrish merchandise will be distributed to children at the first show of the film on Friday.