Few takers for IPL at multiplexes

March 15th, 2010 - 8:33 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, March 15 (IANS) The live telecast of the Indian Premier League (IPL) matches in multiplexes has not been able to pull in the audiences despite the initial buzz, according to experts.
Multiplexes are now keeping their fingers crossed for the tournament to pick up and bring footfalls.

“The maximum occupancy over the weekend has been only 20 percent and the minimum has been close to six percent during certain matches,” Amit Awasthi, manager (programming and operations) of Spice Cinemas, told IANS.

“It hasn’t picked up at all but we’ll continue screening the matches hoping it catches buzz as IPL continues. In terms of films, there are no big releases this month hence no expectations. But we are pinning hopes on ‘Love Sex Aur Dhokha’ (LSD) releasing this Friday,” he added.

A source from PVR cinemas echoed the view.

“The opening for IPL on the big screen has been average and nothing extraordinary. The occupancy has been about 25-30 percent. We are hoping it picks up. While in films, LSD is giving us some hopes,” said the source.

March is usually a dry month for Bollywood, courtesy the Class 10 and Class 12 Board exams and the Hindi film industry has little to offer in terms of big budget outings.

Multiplexes this time are trying to cash in on the opportunity by screening the third edition of the IPL tournament that started Friday. It will end April 25.

The response however has been average so far.

“It’s just the early days and the audiences’ interest is waking back in IPL. It has been an Ok response and the good part is we’ve had had a repeated audience. There is a great word of mouth and we are hoping it (footfalls) will grow as the momentum of IPL picks up,” said Tusshar Dhingra, COO of Big cinemas.

Yogesh Raizada, corporate head (cinemas) of Wave Cinemas is also optimistic.

“There has been no initial to IPL as of now as it has only been three days. Though there is a good buzz, the expectations have not been fulfilled,” said Raizada.

“We are hoping the hype builds up with time. While in films we are hoping all the three films releasing this Friday - ‘Love Sex Aur Dhokha’, ‘Shaapit’ and ‘Lahore’ will bring in footfalls as they are from different genres,” he added.

Around 800 screens around India, including close to 65 in Delhi and surrounding areas, are screening the matches at movie ticket prices that range from Rs.120-180 across different properties depending on the timing of the match.

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