This Diwali doesnt hold promise for multiplexes

Mumbai, Oct 30 | Updated: Oct 31 2005, 06:09am hrs
It'll be a dull Diwali this year for multiplexes, with no big film releases in the offing. Industry observers see a drop in traffic this year, and media analysts at KPMG even reckon there could be a drop of as much as 20%.

E-City Entertainment (I) group leader Niranjan Prakash said, "We are definitely missing blockbusters from of the big banners this year." E-City Entertainment runs the multiplex Fun Republic in Mumbai.

The three movies hitting the theatres this Diwali are Priyadarshan's Garam Masala and Kyon Ki, and David Dhawan's Shaadi No 1. However, some multiplex owners putting up a brave face on the revenues front, despite the shortage of big bang releases. "I do not think there will be a drop in traffic this Diwali," said IMAX Adlabs director Pooja Shetty.

In recent times, there has been a shortfall of good content in the movies, and as a result, multiplexes like Inox Leisure and Shringar Cinemas' Fame have been screening what they call as "alternative programming".

This is in the form of screening international films, plays, musical and stand up comedy acts.

"Multiplexes are screening the same set of films for a longer duration. This shows that there is a lack of good content," said an industry source.

Last year, Yash Chopra's Veer-Zaara hit the box office during Diwali. The film has grosses of about Rs 40 crore so far. However, none of the Diwali releases of this year can be compared with a Yash Chopra film.