MOVIES: India’s largest cinema chain has rebranded itself as Big Cinemas.
Adlabs Films, a Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group company, has ‘big’ ambitions — literally. Undeterred by the slowing economy, India’s largest cinema chain has rebranded itself as Big Cinemas with the tagline Ab Bada Mazza Ayega. The roll-out, estimated to cost Rs 6-7 crore, took place on October 28 across its 73 properties throughout the country, totaling 186 screens and 71,000 seats.
Big Cinemas has over 400 screens worldwide — little over 200 in the US, 51 in Malayasia, and six (greenfield) in Mauritius. The new brand has been designed by international creative agency Bonsey Design based in Singapore. Big has values of being multifaceted, world-class, vibrant and engaging, reasons Tushar Dhingra, its chief operating officer. Its personality is fun-loving, infectious, refreshing and trendy. It is also in sync with the group’s philosophy of ‘Think Bigger, Think Better,’ he adds. The company expects over three million people to visit its theatres next year.
Big Cinemas has also signed up eight megaplexes in cities like Ludhiana, Chandigarh, Lucknow, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Delhi, Bangalore and Chennai. A megaplex is a huge entertainment destination comprising 18-20 theatre screens as opposed to a multiplex, which houses 5-6 screens. The company has leased out land in this regard. “In some cases it will be a revenue-sharing agreement. In other cases it will involve pure rentals,” says Dhingra.
In Punjab, for instance, the government gives a 10-year tax exemption to companies which set up megamalls of one million square feet and megaplexes comprising minimum 10 theatres.
The company does not comment on costs. It is estimated, however, that a 3,000-seater megaplex would involve an investment of around Rs 45 crore, excluding rental. Dhingra says there is enough content being produced in India today, and it gives the multiplex company an opportunity to offer a greater choice to consumers and cater to different niches. The company plans to experiment with the pricing and focus on the ‘experience’ segmentation.
The company is also in the process of setting up more Ebony lounges which will be launched only in signature Big Cinemas. They feature a luxurious screen with fully reclinable seats, the best possible sound (provided by a standalone Bose Pipe Music system) and an attached lounge which offers an exclusive menu served by personalised staff as part of the “Silver Service”.
The company is banking big on digital technology too. It has already premiered 3D Hollywood blockbuster Journey to the Center of the Earth in Big Digital 3D for the first time at Adlabs’ cinema in Vashi, Navi Mumbai. “The response has been good. It has resulted in 30 per cent average occupancy and the film is running into its 10th week, ” says Dhingra.
Hollywood studios are backing the new 3D format with animation hits like Disney’s Chicken Little and concert films like Miley Cyrus/Hannah Montana and U2-3D showing in 3D in the US and Europe. The company had also pioneered the use of 6D in the first screen of its type in India in Agra (near the Taj Mahal) earlier this year through a partnership with Israel-based Cinema Park Network. It is now the only cinema chain in India to offer both 3D and 6D formats
6 months ago