New films help spur footfalls, multiplexes sale

Written by Mona Mehta | Priyanka Akhouri | Mumbai | Updated: Aug 3 2009, 06:56am hrs
Owing to the new releases of Hindi and Hollywood films in the second quarter of the financial year 2009-10, retail malls having multiplex presence are seeing 12% to 15% increase in sales.

This has come in the wake of mall majors leveraging 400% rise in footfalls at multiplexes present in malls. In comparison, during the third and the fourth quarter of the financial year 2008-09, retail malls developers had witnessed 70% dent in sales due to the overall slowdown.

According to Shibu Philips, business head, Oberoi Mall, In July 2009, we have already seen a 12% increase in footfalls and this is expected to go higher with the onset of Oberoi Offers. Also, the settlement of the multiplex strike has further spurred business at PVR. Moreover, with the markets recovering, we are witnessing a simultaneous recovery in the consumer sentiments. Retail majors, Future Group which has retail presence at R Mall in Mulund too is witnessing 15% to 20% rise in footfalls, Rajan Malhotra, chief executive officer, Big Bazaar told FE.

Due to lack of good Hindi movie content in the first half of 2009, Hollywood films like Fast and Furious, Terminator - Salvation, X Men - Origins, Star Trek, Angels and Demons dominated the box office. However, according to multiplexes, these movies did not fare well in terms of generating adequate box office collections and footfalls. Vinod Mirani, trade analyst said, Prior to the strike the occupancy rates in mulitplexes were around 60%, which grew to almost 80%-100% post strike. This is mainly due to the quality of content.

The month of June saw 100% occupancy in multiplexes with the release of New York , the highest since January and post strike.

Besides the Hindi flicks in the second half of 2009, Hollywood content like The Ice Age and The Proposal garnered around 70% occupancies at the multiplexes. However, the latest release of Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince in July generated 90% footfall overall across various multiplexes. According to analysts Harry Potter had expected around 70% occupancy rate, but the film recorded around 80% footfall in the weekdays and almost 100% on weekends.

Vishal Kapur, chief operating officer, Fun Cinemas told FE, especially after the settlement of multiplex strike which ended in June 2009, there has been a four-fold (400%) rise in footfalls soon during release of New York and new releases of Ice Age 3 through 3D screens, and Hangover, which is still running in the fourth week of its release in July.

Moreover, multiplexes feel that though the craze for Kambakth Ishq has dipped among the audience, New York still generates 30% to 35% of occupancy. Dhingra added, Saif Ali Khans Love Aaj Kal is the most awaited release after Kambakth Ishq and Love Aaj Kal. We hope that the film will further revive the multiplexes and generate more occupancy, which will help in increasing ticket sales.

Devang Sampat, vice president, Cinemax India too agrees and adds, Harry Potter has created a history in the multiplexes and has done well in the multiplexes. We experienced around 80%-footfall and we are running eight shows at our multiplex. Tushar Dhingra, COO, BIG Cinemas said, The year 2009 began with poor releases that was not benefiting for the multiplexes. It was just like a restaurant running without serving satisfying food.