Al Reports

Multiplexes Add a Third Dimension to Business with 3D

Indian cinemas are renovating to allow for more 3D screens movies due to the success of new Indian and International 3D films.

The success of India’s first stereoscopic 3D film ‘Haunted’, and a bevy of others in the offing from both Bollywood and Hollywood has prompted several multiplex operators to increase their number of 3D screens.

The Vikram Bhatt-directed horror flick stole the thunder while vying with well-marketedfilms in month of Mayandcollected over Rs 24 crore. And over 150 3D screens are all set to come up-some which are upgradation of old screens and others which are brand new-in the next five to six months. This simply that out of1050 screens in India, 30 percent will be 3D compatible.

Big Cinemas is planning to double the number of its 3D screens in next 6-8 months.Similarly, Cinemax plans to come up with 30 new 3D screens this year while PVR has a total digital screens count of around 90 as on date, 30 of which are 3D.

Cinepolis, the Mexican multiplex brand that has forayed into Indian markets, has already set the bar by having all the screens converted to 3D. “We are coming up with 50 screens this year and all will be 3D. The cost of 3D production has gone down, so we will definitely see richer content coming from the industry,” says Deepak Marda, Associate MD and Country Head, Cinepolis India.

According to Ranjit Thakur, CEO, Scrabble Entertainment, who works closelywith multiplex operators to install 3D screenstherewill be around 300 screens by the end of the financial year2012. Scrabble has 147 screens under its belt.

However, the rush for 3D is not just restricted to metros, but also in Tier II and Tier III townslike Akluj, Anand, Surat, Allahabad, Nagpur, Madurai, VIjayawada and Cochin.

Sunil Punjabi, Chief Executive Officer, Cinemax says, ” Avatar’s much hyped release saw almost 60 to 70 screens were upgraded to 3D and the trend seems to be picking up now.”

Industry sources say that it roughly costs Rs 10 lakhs to convert an existing 2D screen to a 3D screen while to build a 3D screen altogether would cost roughly from Rs 30-35 lakhs depending on the technology.

“This year alone there are around release about 35 3D titles, which is a whopping increase from the 10 3D titles 2 years ago. Hollywood studios are pulling all stops in terms of marketing and promotion for these films,” he added.

Pirates of the Caribbean – On Stranger Tides,Kung Fu Panda 2, Rio, Tangled,Avatar and Alice in Wonderland, among others, have evoked good response from the viewers.Add to that, There is huge anticipation for upcoming 3D movies like Harry Potter and Deathly Hollows Part II, Cars 2, Transformers: The Dark Of The Moon and Adventures of Tintin to name a few.

Now even Indian filmmakers are looking to jump onto the 3D bandwagonwhich has caught the fancy of Hollywood studios. According to sources,Vikram Bhatt has signed a three film 3D movie deal with DAR Motion Pictures. Titled Dangerous Ishq the movie will be released in first quarter of 2012.

There is also abuzz that Aditya Chopra, is mulling with the idea of filming Dhoom 3 in the 3D format,taking the action-adventure genre of the film to another level.

“So far in India 3D content is still in a catch-22 situation with producers claiming that there are not enough screens to air 3D films. The coming two years are critical for 3D content in India and so while we currently have around 13 3D screens, we intend to double the count in the next 6-8 months.” says Ashish Saksena, COO, Big Cinemas, West and South region.

The shift to more number of 3D screens is also triggered by increased digitisation of film contents by directors and production houses.According to Pramod Arora, Group President and CEO, PVR , Indian flicks like ‘Haunted’ and ‘Robot’ saw increased digitisation, with the latter dedicating 25 per cent of the money on visual effects (VFX), resulting in 2000 VFX shots in 40 scenes.

“Even, upcoming movies like Ra.One and Joker are expected to have some great visual effects,” says Arora.

Technological advancement is also likely to help multiplexes fight against the increased competition from digital TV. “Multiplexes fear loss of a good opportunity in the wake of them facing stiff competition from digital TV that airs new films in a matter of days after the theatrical release. But 3D can give an edge to the industry,” said Punjabi.



Source: Business Standard



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