Single-screen theatres face the brunt of demonetisation while online players woo multiplex customers
Will Shah Rukh Khan’s ‘Dear Zindagi’, which releases today, also face the heat of demonetisation?
Along with several other industries, which are facing the heat due to the government’s recent demonetisation move, film industries across India too are facing a major slump. Though majority of film stars and filmmakers have come out in support of the move by PM Narendra Modi, footfalls across single screen theatres in the country are witnessing a huge dip. However the same can’t be said for multiplex theatres, where online ticket booking channels such as Bookmyshow and payment modules like Paytm, Airtel and Jio are luring customers with cashback offers and free tickets, thereby giving some respite to multiplex owners. However, food & beverage counters at multiplexes have seen a huge fall in sales because majority of the payments is done by over the counter cash.
While the release dates of a couple of films like ‘30 Minutes’ and ‘Saansein’, were pushed after the move was announced, others that released in that particular week, for instance the much-hyped Rock On 2, saw poor opening numbers.
Film trade analysts have been quite open about the dip in business ever since demonetisation was announced by Modi. According to them, more than the multiplexes, it is the Tier II and the Tier III towns, which have majority of single-screen theatres, being hit most hard. Tum Bin 2, which released on November 18, also faced the heat as few shows had to be cancelled due to the absence of audience from theatres.
According to reports, along with Bollywood, regional cinemas are also facing the heat of demonetisation. In Andhra Pradesh, the cinema industry has been hit hard as with the government scrapping the Rs 500 and Rs 1000 currencies, there has been atleast 50- 60 per cent dip in sales in shopping malls, cinemas and food court. There is currently no money in circulation and atleast two months or more is expected for things to get normalised. Another problem faced by these single-screen theatres is that they cannot bring down the ticket prices as the state government has a stake in it.
Online booking offers for multiplexes:
Reportedly, around 40-60 per cent of tickets at multiplexes are sold either online or by credit/debit cards at the box office. Therefore, online booking channels like BookMyShow, PVR, Cinepolis and others are now enticing their customers with exciting offers.
In fact, PVR has waived convenience fees on all the movie tickets that are booked online for the next one month.
Bookmyshow is running contests on social media channels and offering discounts and even free tickets to their customers. Reportedly, the ‘My Wallet feature’ in Bookmyshow has seen almost a 400 per cent increase in the last few days.
Cinepolis India is also running various offers on its website and also through booking partners. It has tied up with Paytm and is giving flat 15 per cent off and 15 per cent cash back offers.
Actor John Abraham, who starred in the Force 2 that released on November 18, was seen aggressively promoting all the online offers available through his Twitter handle.
Online payment modules lure customers with cashback and free ticket offers:
Payment channels such as PayTM, FreeCharge and MobiKwik, who have been promoting cashless payments ever since Modi announced the demonetisation, are also luring multiplex customers with numerous exciting cashback offers.
With a big release lined up today, the Shah Rukh Khan and Alia Bhatt starrer ‘Dear Zindagi’ and others like Vidya Balan’s ‘Kahaani 2’ and Aamir Khan’s ‘Dangal’ expected in the coming weeks, it will be a game of wait and watch to know if these big-ticket movies will also face the brunt of demonetisation or will they fare well if their content is right.
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