Aug 8, 2008

Entertainment - Bollywood banks on 28*7 shows

MUMBAI: India’s dream factory is waking up to some hard facts: Illegal internet downloads and rampant piracy is eating into their profits. That’s why you’ll find Bollywood resorting to every trick in the book to boost its opening weekend box-office. That after all — as is the case with the global film industry — is where the moolah is.

The latest gimmick is carpet-bombing of multiplexes. Starting Friday, the Akshay Kumar-starrer Singh is Kinng will reel out in 28 shows a day across multiplexes all over India.

Devang Sampat, senior VP, Cinemax, confirms the strategy: “We will run the film as many as 28 times each day for a week. The first show will start as early as 7am.’’

Shravan Shroff of Fame Cinemas, too, affirms that his chain will have 19-25 shows a day across the country. ‘‘With 150-odd releases fighting for the 52 Fridays in a year, such tactics are bound to become the order of the day,’’ says a trade insider. ‘‘Such a move is usually successful because even before the reviews or public opinion dig in, 70% of the public has already seen the film or made bookings for it.’’

The math is simple. With around 700 multiplexes and 12,000 screens, Sampat estimates that at the end of the first week itself, a film that runs for 196 (28x7) shows is likely to rake in close to Rs one crore from each property.

Another multiplex manager points out that this strategy was tried out earlier in the case of Yashraj’s Dhoom 2 , where some multiplexes scheduled as many as 23-25 shows a day to cash in on the initial craze of the Hrithik Roshan-Aishwarya Rai pairing. ‘‘ Dhoom 2 enjoyed one of the best initials of all time,’’ he says.

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