Multiplexes have been cropping up across the country at regular intervals. However, there have been no data on how effective multiplex branding has been so far. In a bid to know more about consumption patterns of patrons visiting multiplexes in metros and non-metros, IMRB recently conducted a research in association with Fun Cinema. The research covered Adlabs, City Gold, Fun Cinema, Wide Angle, Cinemax, Fame, PVR, Waves, Inox, and ENT Paradise.
The research was done I two parts – a four-city qualitative research study, titled 'Mutiplexes – A complete entertainment space', was done in association with IMRB-PQR and covered eight cities – Mumbai, Delhi (East and West), Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Panipat, Agra, Lucknow and Jaipur. The second was a qualitative research study titled 'The Mutiplex Buzz', which was commissioned through IMRB International. The study comprised a sample size of 2,850 respondents and was targeted at SEC 4 & B 1 in the 18-23 age group (Individuals – 50 per cent Male, 50 per cent Female); 24-28 years (Males -70 per cent, Females/Housewives - 30 per cent); 28-40 years (Main earners - 70 per cent; Housewives with kids – 30 per cent), respectively. This gave an insight research on the consumer's decision marking process in choosing one multiplex brand over another and hence indicating brand preferences.
This qualitative study was commissioned after the four-city qualitative study, which provided cues to formulate the objectives for the quantitative study and was done largely to achieve the five main objectives – to provide insights in the key drivers of consumption for multiplex movie watching; to determine the ranking of each multiplex brand in a specific catchment area in terms of overall movie watching experience and its salience; to know more about any existing brand's positioning in minds of the consumers; to find whether consumers seek value when visiting a multiplex brand, and the nature of these values; and to determine the role of promotions and events in order to create preference in the minds of the consumer.
The study clearly highlights the fact that as far as the nature of promotions and events are concerned, the consumers are petulant to contest to meet stars and high value for lucky dip promotions, these are deemed to be incredulous and their credibility is low. Premier and free CDs of latest movies emerged as the most coveted promotions.
In terms of movie watching, Bangalore and Panipat topped the charts as the respondents in the two cities watched a movie in 18 days, compared to an all India average of 24.5 days. West Delhi, Jaipur and Lucknow emerged as the cities where people saw a 49 pr cent, 40 pr cent and 38 per cent of attendance during weekdays.
IMRB used the Multiple Buzz Index (MBI) as a tool to indicate brand preference. The tool used experiential thermometer, brand imagery and value dimension indices to contrive brand preferences and saliency. Fun Cinema had the highest MBI scores in four out of nine markets – viz., Panipat, Agra, Ahmedabad and East Delhi. In the limited catchments of Andheri in Mumbai, Lucknow, and West Delhi, Fun Cinema was ranked second on the MBI scoreboard, leading Fame, Waves and PVR, respectively. However, on top of mind barometer for Fun Cinema has been able to emerge as the premiere titleholder.
The study also brought into light many important trends that the industry would face in future. An increased interest and public listing of major multiplexes players allowed them to invest appropriately in creating world class cinema infrastructure and most multiplexes are seen as lifestyle statements. Uniformly across the centers, customers were satisfied with the over all facilities and hence, all multiplex players are in equilibrium as far as the 'Experiential Thermometer' is concerned.
The multiplex space in India has transformed the lifestyle of an average Indian in a very short span of time. According to a CII-AT Kearny report, a multiplex contributes 55 per cent of a mall's footfalls. Given the changing nature of the business and weekly release of multiple films, a multiplex draws crowd in abundance. Currently, there are 500 multiplex screens operational in India, which contribute almost 10-15 per cent of the theatrical business.
According to a recent FICCI Frames report, the number of multiplex screens is projected to touch the 2,000-mark by 2011 amongst five to six organised players. The movie watching behaviour has seen a dramatic change; movie watching is now clubbed with other activities such as eating out and shopping. Thus, it is a big opportunity for multiplex players to look at synergies or to expand in these avenues to have a marked presence in the leisure consumption of India.
List of the multiplexes that were covered by IMRB across the eight cities