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This issue of TW has two sets of page numbers - International pages TW-1 to TW-56 for TW, and India pages TM-1 to TM-28 for TM. TM is inserted between pages TW-46 and TW-47 of TW.

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Indian Cinema in

New ‘Avatar’ Another Twist in Indian Cinema Story

It’s an Inoxican Fame

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S P E C I A L F E AT U R E

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INDIAPLEXING

INDIAPLEXING

It’s K Sera Sera ‘Show’ Now

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MINDSCAPE TM EDITORIAL

2K, 3D & IPL Yes! Indian cinema is now being ruled guided and governed to be precise - by the 2Ks and 3Ds quite cinematically. For a little less than a decade now, particularly for the last 18 months or so, Indian cinema had been experiencing an unprecedented excitement that can be summed up as the titled expression above. On the big screen it had been the two Khans - Aamir and Shahrukh - ruling the roost, alternating positions. Check out the chartbusters they churned out: Lagaan-KKKG…Rang De BasantiKANK…Taare Zamin Par-Om Shanti Om…Ghajini-Rab Ne Banadi…and

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now 3 Idiots-MNIK . It had been the 2K again stealing the show from behind the screen, as Indian cinema began its journey into digital domain. The past year or two have particularly been a period of change, as most cinemas have turned digital as specified by the ruling DCI.

home-made and Hollywood; it has the 3Ds. What's more, it is gearing up to grab the biggest alternative content it could ever hope for- the IPL-III, in 3D. In a country where cricket is a religion, and can easily throw movies out of cinemas - which it is exactly/actually doing - what more a cinema can expect?

On the other hand, Indian cinema is now gaining in 3 Ds: digital, direction, and dynamism. Digital is the journey, direction is the way, and dynamism is the pace.

Go Cinema. Go 3D. Go IPL.

I guess Indian cinema never had it so good. It has blockbuster movies- both

Bhavanashi Ramakrishna Editor, Theatre Magic


Breaking News...

Another Twist in Indian Cinema Story

It’s an Inoxicated Fame Yes, for those who have read these columns in TM last issue, and for those who were taken by surprise in November last – when PVR bought over its ailing country-cousin DT Cinemas – this is a second twist in successive seasons in the Indian cinema drama. Mumbai-based Inox Leisure Ltd. buys over another Mumbai multiplex cousin Fame India Ltd. Arguably stronger and more appealing than the ‘first twist,’ the second one not only saw the emergence of a still stronger ‘performer’ but also spiced up the polarization concept that had been renting the air for sometime now. In what is seen as a major development with significant ramifications in Indian cinematic exhibition business, Mumbai-based multiplex chain Inox Leisure Ltd. has acquired another Mumbai-based cinema company Fame India Ltd. In two separate deals in quick succession, Inox bought as much as 50.49 per cent stake in Fame India that operates Fame Cinemas brand multiplex chain. In the first, 3 Feb-block deal – executed through the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) – Inox acquired 43.28 per cent stake in Fame India, for an allcash consideration of Rs. 66.48 crore followed by the second, 5-Feb- block deal, Inox acquired another 7.21 per cent of the total paid-up capital of Fame, amounting to Rs. 12.77 crore. The second deal represented 25,07,537 equity shares of Rs 10 each of Fame, and done at a consideration of Rs. 50.75 per share. The total buy-out deal thus stood at Rs. 79.25 crore. The entire buy-out deal was funded by Inox’s parent company Gujarat Fluorochemicals Ltd. (GFL) as a shareholder loan. Though the acquisition is marginally short of the conventional (or legal) 51 per cent required for controlling stake, that Inox bought the entire promoters’

stake in Fame the deal meant total control of the company. This means that Inox Leisure Ltd. has now emerged second largest cinema enterprise in the country with a combined strength of 55 multiplexes, a total count of 204 screens, and an aggregate seating capacity of 57,891 seats. Post-acquisition, Inox have to issue an open offer to acquire a further 20 per cent stake in Fame for cash, as per the Substantial Acquisition of Shares and Takeover Regulations, 1997, of Securities and Exchange Board of India. For a development that needed no extra explanations, since presumptions (or assumptions) are pretty much obvious, the buyer and the seller enterprises sought to defend the deal. Said Deepak Asher, Director-Inox Group of Companies: “It has been our stated goal, when we launched our first multiplex around eight years

back, to be a significant player in the Indian multiplex space and redefine the movie going experience in India. This philosophy, of being a market leader, runs across all our businesses. Today, we are pleased to announce to our stakeholders, that we have translated this vision into reality - we have one of India’s largest networks of multiplex screens, and have truly raised the bar in providing world class cinema experience to our patrons.” According to him, over the next few months, Inox would evaluate full benefits of integration and consolidation, to drive the competitive advantage across the value chain, and strategise its business in accordance with the regulatory guidelines. Welcoming the merger of ‘Fame and Inox familes,’ Inox CEO Alok Tandon expressed confidence that the strong and successful Inox team will be

Inox’s acquisition of Fame Cinemas – though second in recent months – is third major acquisition in Indian exhibition industry. The first and the biggest till now was the acquisition of the Manmohan Shetty-promoted Adlabs brand multiplex chain by Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group four year ago. The second one was, of course, the Inox’s acquisition of 89 Cinemas. The third acquisition was the recently made DT Cinemas acquisition by PVR Cinemas. However, in terms of size, the latest one is second only to that of the Reliance acquisition of Adlabs.

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strengthened by the infusion of fresh talent from Fame. “Inox has always been, and will continue to be, a professionally managed company. We are extremely proud of our human resources who have helped create this formidable brand in the multiplex space,” he said, adding, “going forward, all our energies will be focused on managing this integration, planning for further growth and strengthening our position as India’s leading multiplex chain.” Says Shravan Shroff, Managing Director-Fame India Ltd.: “I have always believed that a consolidated play would have a strategic advantage in the business and that led us to consider this association with Inox. Our decision was driven by our belief in Inox’s professional management and strong shareholder focus, which we believe would translate into a value add for all Fame stakeholders. We are proud of having been associated in creating India’s largest multiplex network, which we believe will offer an unparallel reach to film producers and consumers.” It may be recalled that Inox had previously acquired Kolkata-based multiplex operator 89 Cinemas, promoted by Calcutta Cine Pvt. Ltd. (CCPL), a Bengal Ambuja concern. The acquisition, which kick started the consolidation phase in the multiplex industry gave Inox access to an additional nine multiplexes in West Bengal and Assam. Before the Fame acquisition, Inox had 30 operational properties, with 109 screens and a seating capacity of 31401 in 21 cities across India while Fame had 25 operational multiplexes with 95 screens and a seating capacity of 26487 in 12 cities. Fame also has subsidiaries such as Big Picture Hospitality Services - its food business JV, Headstrong Films - its film production JV and Shringar Films, its film distribution business. With the latest acquisition deal, Inox has pushed the hitherto second placed PVR Cinemas to third position, and stood next only to Big Cinemas of Reliance Media Works.

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3 Idiots Breaking BO Records

Satyam Unveils Grand Plans

In one of the most amazing box office runs for an Indian movie, the Rajkumar Hirani-directed Vidhu Vinod Chopra production 3 Idiots is creating record of sorts. The movie has crossed the Rs 1 billion (Rs 100 crore)-mark in net box office collections worldwide in two less than weeks. The movie netted approximately Rs 1.6 billion (Rs 116 crore) in 10 days including paid previews. In its second weekend, the movie reported a net business of Rs 350 million (Rs 35 crore), which is unheard of in India.

New Delhi-based multiplex operator Satyam Cineplexes is back to its aggression. It has drawn up an ambitious plan to add at least 40 screens in 2010 across eight locations in the country, and doubling the number in the next two years. More, the company has also appointed internationally renowned cinema building professional Ian Riches as vice- president-business development and projects for the company.

Internationally, the movie has done phenomenally well and broke all previous records with the first week collections with about $7.30 million. It crossed the £1 millionmark in the UK. By the end of its second week, 3 Idiots became the highest grossing UK release of 2009 beating Love Aaj Kal which collected £1,041,056. Print record: 3 Idiots released was with 1550 prints across 1760 screens worldwide on 25 December, 2009. This surpassed previous big releases like Ghajini, which was released with 1150 prints, Singh is Kinng (1050 prints), Kambhaqt Ishq (1000 prints), Welcome (975 prints), OSO (975 prints), Love Aaj Kaal and Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi (950 prints). In the overseas, the movie released with 342 prints across 366 screens, which is the highest ever so far for a Hindi movie. 3 Idiots stars Aamir Khan, Kareena Kapoor, R Madhavan, Sharman Joshi and Boman Irani.

Riches brings to market an illustrious career and expertise of over four decades. His earlier stints in the industry included serving as the president for UK Cinema Exhibitor’s Association, along with various projects on the development and operational handling of around 25 multiplexes in Europe. “Satyam Cineplex’s has always strived to provide the best in class entertainment to our customers. Keeping this in mind and also our plans to expand to metros and tier-II cities in the country, we were very sure of getting on board an industry veteran for the purpose. Ian was a natural choice as what his career experience boasts of; very few in the world can match up to it in the cinema and multiplex business,” said Satyam Cineplexes managing director Deven Chachra. “What also worked as an added advantage is Ian’s prior experience with the south East Asian market in his stints with Warner Bros and Village Cinemas. Ian’s addition to the team shall help us in our expansion process to many more locations within the country.” Satyam currently has 17 screens across India with three multiplexes in Delhi and one in Indore.


Another ‘Uphaar’ Averted The Uphaar tragedy is still fresh in every Indian movie lover, and, may be every law enforcing official related to safety in cinemas. Thirteen years ago, many innocent lives were lost in the infamous Uphaar tragedy. A cinema in Sahibabad — one of the oldest multiplexes in western UP — came close to reliving the same horror on recently. However, the fact that the devastating fire broke an hour and five minutes before the first show averted a major disaster. According to Suresh Jindal, owner of Movie Palace, his staff — over 30 of them — were cleaning up auditorium 1 when they noticed sparks at the top corner of the 30-feet-tall screen. “I noticed that a CFL bulb had burst and sparks were flying. Soon, the screen caught fire,” said Lakhiram, who has been working in the cinema since its inception in November 2000.

continue the operation till 11.45 am, more than three hours after it broke out. The foam seats led to smoke and even the iron rods holding up the structure twisted causing the roof to collapse,” said a senior fire official. The police said it was a lucky escape for many. “The cinema has fifteen shows and audi 1 was screening My Name is Khan. The first show was at 9.40 am and over 70 tickets were sold for My Name is Khan. Most of these viewers were schoolchildren and any such incident during a show could have led to a stampede,” said the police.

Aparna Sen Making a Comeback

The blaze spread and the carpet caught fire. “The workers immediately pulled out six fire-fighting cylinders but none of them worked as the source of the fire t was too high up. The fire department was called after the floors caught fire and the smoke choked anyone who tried entering the premises,” said Jindal. According to the Ghaziabad police, the fire brigade reached 20 minutes later. “The fire tender had little water in it. The hall had 50,000 litres of underground water stored on its premises. But, we could not use this water as the pump could not be operated as the main power supply was switched off. We were forced to make alternate arrangement to operate the pump. Five more fire tenders arrived, but could not work in tandem,” said a senior police officer at the Sahibabad police station. The Ghaziabad fire service denied the allegations. “The entire floor and the roof had caught fire after the blaze broke out at 8.32 am. There were too many inflammable objects in the form of carpets and seats. We had to

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Critically acclaimed movie director of yester year Aparna Sen is making a comeback with a movie titled The Japanese Wife. The movie stars Rahul Bose, Raima Sen, Chigusa Takaku and Moushumi Chatterjee. The movie is set to hit the big screen on 9 April, 2010. The movie plot is about Snehamoy, a schoolteacher in the Sunderbans, and Miyage, a young girl in Japan, who meet through letters, fall in love and get married through letters! They have been married for 15 years... but have never met. Saregama MD Apurv Nagpal is all the more praise for the celebrated Bengali

movie personality. “We admire Aparna’s work and ability to interpret love,” he says, “this is not just a film but a lyrical love poem, very different to anything out there in today’s age of instant gratification.”

‘Big’ Case in a Theatre In a one-of-its-kind development, Reliance Big Pictures filed FIR in Ghaizabad against Galaxy Cinema based in Kaushambi, UP, suspected of aiding making pirated DVDs of the recently released hit 3 Idiots. Based on the technical information of cap code marking on each print of the movie, the pirated DVD of 3 Idiots were found in Delhi. They were eventually tracked and stopped by Reliance Big Pictures. “Movie piracy is not a victimless crime. Not only does piracy have a financial impact on Reliance Big Pictures, it negatively impacts jobs of people in the film industry and related businesses,” said Reliance Big Pictures COODistribution Kamal Gianchandani. “We are committed to take a strong, proactive position in protecting copyrights, and are hopeful that our support of strong anti-piracy efforts will be instrumental in developing a growing and vibrant marketplace for Indian films,” he said and added, “we would like to see strict action against the offenders, sending out a strong message.” Reliance Big Pictures has been aggressively involved with curbing piracy for their past movies like Paa wherein they proactively conducted online, physical raids across important markets to secure the smooth functioning of both its print and online rights. According to a recent study, India’s entertainment industry loses $4 billion, and 800,000 jobs a year due to piracy.


Pirated MNIK DVDs Seized In one of the major anti-piracy raids in the recent months, Mumbai Police have seized pirated DVDs and CDs of My Name is Khan worth over Rs. 15 lakh from three different hideouts in Mumbai. The biggest haul of the three, amounting to Rs. 13 lakh came from a godown near The Mall in Malad suburb of the metropolis. AA Khan & Associates along with DCP Sanjay Banerjee and Manohar Harpude from Malad Police Station raided the godown and and seized over 8000 pirated MNK DVDs and CDs worth around Rs 1.3 million (Rs 13.08 lakh). Around 2000 DVDs of MNK and Striker and 6000 DVDs of other movies were seized. The other pirated titles included Ishiqiya, Veer, Wrong Turn 3, Saw - N Series and Law Abiding Citizens. 21 year old Mohd Islamuddin Shakeel has been arrested during the raid.

The police raided two other locations in Mumbai and seized over 21,000 pirated DVDs and CDs worth over Rs. 1.5 lakh. The first raid was conducted at Lamington Road where around 6000 pirated CDs and DVDs were seized. The seized titles included Toh Baat Pakki, Up in the Air, It’s Complicated and My Name is Khan. They all totalled to around Rs 60,000.

In the raid, carried out near a shop in Basant Park and Orbis Shop near the railway station at Chembur, police uncovered 15000 pirated CDs and DVDs pegged at around Rs. 1 lakh. The police arrested Sanjay Ramchandra Darode and Badri Prasad Narayandas allegedly involved in the racket.


SPECIAL FEATURE

Indian Cinema

in New

‘Avatar’ – By Bhavanashi Ramakrishna

James Cameron’s sci-fi epic movie Avatar has practically unveiled a new cinematic India, by factors more than one- exhibition format, box office, fortunes of Hollywood studios, and summing up all, a new enthusiasm among movie lovers in general. The movie broke all the existing box office records hitherto held by blockbuster Hollywood releases in the country like Titanic, 2012, Transoformers, Spiderman3, Sherlock Holmes etc. Cameron’s previous magnum opus Titanic (1997) had been the biggest money spinner till the outing of Avatar, with a total box office collection of Rs 550 million (Rs 55 crore). It had actually opened an altogether new market for Twentieth Century Fox in the country. Now Avatar has grossed Rs 560 million (Rs 56 crore) in India in less than two

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weeks, and had been still counting when reports last came in. Fox Star Studios India CEO Vijay Singh is obviously exulted. “Avatar has broken all major records in India and across the globe, and is now the biggest movie ever for Twentieth Century Fox in India,” Vijay Singh said, adding, “despite being in the second week, the collections are only getting stronger and the number of prints is actually increasing in several parts of the country.”

According to him, the dramatic increase in the number of 3D screens in the country, as well as the strong interest that they received from the Hindi, Tamil and Telugu language markets reaffirmed the strong buzz for the movie. Avatar earned Rs 1 crore through its paid previews across India- the highest for any Hollywood release in India. It grossed Rs 6.7 crore on the opening day itself making it the biggest ever Friday opening for any Hollywood movie in the country. It then became the highest grosser among all Hollywood movies in India in terms of weekend collections with a total netting of Rs 220 million (Rs 22 crore). The opening week collections totalled Rs 400 million (Rs 40 crore).


SPECIAL FEATURE

Three-Dimensional Changeover Avatar, much before its theatrical release ushered in a three-dimensional change in Indian cinema too, much in line with the global trend. Irrespective of the exhibition platter, i.e. multiplex or single-screen, Indian cinema generically got spiced up and braced 3D digital exhibition model to be able to provide the ‘Avataric experience,’ and capture the patrons’ enthusiasm as it was intended. The 3D digital installs – from just around 30 – almost doubled in the run-up to the ‘18 December Avatar.’ Such was the euphoria generated that even as there was a la-2k-digital-VPF model in place to help cinemas equip themselves with 3D digital systems, some of the exhibitors independently went ahead to procure the expensive projection system and set-up (Read TWDec’2009 Breaking News: Urvashi…). That the Fox Star India, the distributors of Avatar decided to release the movie in three Indian languages – Hindi, Telugu and Tamil – besides English, considering the huge screen count the three language belts constitute, also contributed to the increased demand for 3D digital systems. While the multiplexes, given their cashrich corporate strengths, were as it is better equipped to glamourise their offerings to be in tune with the Avatar enthusiasm, the standalone singlescreens spent significant money to upgrade not only their sound and projection systems but also their theatrical ambiences so that patrons carry with them a come-back experience even after Avatar. This is a significant turnaround considering the fact that

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each 3D install costs at least 50 per cent more than that of a conventional one, which is anywhere between Rs. 2 crore and Rs. 2.5 crore depending upon the set-up the exhibitor chooses. More, that the generically swanky multiplexes themselves had to spend anywhere between 10 per cent and 20 per cent additional investment for their 3D setups, the adventurism displayed by single-screen exhibitors is a big indicator on what drives them into bettering their cinematic offering. According to an industry source, Indian cinema exhibitors began their upgradation processes almost three months before their ‘tryst with December 18 outing.’ The Bollywood-dependent exhibitors in particular – having gone through successive turbulent periods since the beginning of 2009 – were all taken into the hype. “They didn’t want to leave any stone unturned,” commented an industry executive. “Avatar was, literally, an otherworld-sent-opportunity for the exhibitors to cash in on the buzz.” Their efforts, of course, got highly rewarded in the form of unprecedented box office collections.

Multiplexing in 3D With practically every operating multiplex circuit in the country bracing up the 3D digital install at least one on each location, there had been a sudden spurt in the roll-out of 3D digital systems in the country. On a generic note, over 50 3D installs went into multiplexes in the run-up to the Avatar release. Not only the multiplexes in the four metropolitan cities, and major cities like Pune, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Chandigarh, cinemas in and smaller centres like Coimbatore and Amritsar too suddenly got dotted in the 3D roadmap. Inox Leisure has added one 3D screen each in its properties across Pune, Baroda, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Chennai, Nagpur, Raipur and Jaipur. “There have been good 3D Hollywood releases this year and movies like Ice Age 3 and Final Destination have garnered good response from the audience,” Alok Tandon, CEO of Inox, said. “Looking at the increasing popularity of 3D movies, and the hype Avatar generated, we were sure that it will open big at the box office.” Taking the lead on par with Inox were Fame, Fun, Big Cinemas, PVR, and Cinemax. All these multiplex circuits had installed at least one 3D digital system in each of their locations. The fact that many of these circuits have either new all-2K-digital multiplexes, or upgraded to 2k from film, they were all better positioned to capitalize on the buzz of Avatar. “I believe the 3D version of Avatar is going to be the revolutionary movie


SPECIAL FEATURE for this generation,” Aditya Shroff of Fame Cinemas was quoted as saying. According to Aditya, who is in charge of the company’s distribution and programming Fame tried to go as wide as possible with the 3D release. In fact, Fame Cinemas was the first multiplex in the Mumbai circuit to go 3D digital when it equipped one of its screens at the Inorbit Mall with 3D digital projection. The honours of doing India’s first 3D digital, of course, remain with Chennai-based Sathyam Cinemas which had always been in the forefront of adopting technology cinema. (Read TW September 2008: TM-‘Sathyam Has Done it Again’) On the tangent, there have been instances of Indian cinemas not preferring to be spiced up by the 3D digital. The two Delhi/Noida-based multiplex operators Wave and Spice stuck to their 2D model and played the epic sci-fi movie in that format. The high costs of the equipment, infrastructural changes required for the format were too big for them to go for the exploit, say sources.

Scrabble Entertainment, the only Indian solution provider complaint wtih the Digital Cinema Initiative (DCI) specs, and also an intermediary between content owners, including major studios and independent distributors and exhibitors – is upbeat about the development. In fact, it was indeed Scrabble’s partnership initiative in association with Christie, and its VPF business model that pushed the 2k and 3D digital systems into Indian exhibition market. Having made it big with 2k digital roll out – after the routine initial hassles – it was a ‘Na’vi-sent-opportunity’ for the Mumbai-based solution provider too to capitalize on the biggest sci-fi buzz ever in 3D. It was rather easy sail for Scrabble, sources say, as “the exhibitors were already charged up for the Avatar prospects, and they went for the grabs.” According to them, the demand for 3D or 2k digital cinema systems had been on the rise in India largely due to the exhibitors’ newly-acquired flexibility of forward looking investment mindset. Also, their realisation of the sharp, clear

picture quality, and the immersive experience that it creates contributed to the change in their mindset in favour of 3D digital. Which is why there are 150-plus digital cinema screens in the country today – over 50 of them in 3D – and by the end of 2010, there would be an additional 80 2K digital screens, say market sources. That the Hollywood had been putting high stakes on 3D digital is evident on its scheduling as many as 40 titles for release in 3D digital over the next three years. Even as the cinemas are still relishing the Avataric enthusiasm, there is a buzz on Clash of Titans in 3D. Scrabble is doubly excited with the prospects. “We expect a roll out of at least 30 more 2K installs, and touch/ cross 180 total installs in time for Clash of Titans,” Ranjit Thakur, managing director of Scrabble Entertainment says. “We expect most of these new installs to be 3D.” That there are more to come, and there is enough enthusiasm about it, India appears pretty much on the axis of turnaround.

The 2k or 3D digital screen count often referred to as Indian install rate is that done by Scrabble Entertainment that has actually initiated the drive in association with content providers from Hollywood as well as the 2k equipment manufacturers. There is another DCI-approved 2K digital model doing the job in India- by the Reliance MediaWorks Digital which runs in all the Big Cinemas digital screens in the country and abroad. The total 2K digital screen count, therefore would be over 200, as per the market indications.

Now, IPL Excitement in 3D If there is anything that can challenge the movie excitement in India, it is cricket. In a movie-crazy country like India it is only the game of cricket that can send movies roll back into cans or softly remain in hard discs. They fear to come out, and cinema theatres ‘watch’ helplessly. For, they both know they would pale out into ‘no-show’ in the face of the ‘big’ sporting show’ that cricket is. Having received severe drubbing at the hand of the formidable Indian Premiere League (IPL) last year, Indian cinemas this time are trying to prove a match by making a

‘show of the cricket’ on the big screen itself. And, to further capitalise on the excitement, cinemas are gearing up to show the IPL matches in 3D. That’s a great show, indeed. UFO Moviez – which had actually tried in vain last year to show IPL matches in cinemas with its satellite digital technology – has moved swiftly to bag the theatrical rights of IPL-III season, and entered into agreement with Scrabble Entertainment for the latter’s 3D screening technology systems. Now Scrabble will provide its 3D systems and technology to UFO to beam IPL matches all across the cinemas equipped with such systems.

The two Mumbai-based digital cinema solution providers, therefore, would relive the cinematic excitement with the mix of the IPL passion, that too in 3D. Arguably, there cannot be an alternative to cricket, in a country where it is a religion. But a mix of it will infuse life into anything. So, long live cricket, long live cinemas too.

April-June 2010

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Indian genius has always made waves on foreign shores in various domains, including cinematic entertainment. It's been more in the reckoning particularly in the recent past- thanks to the emergence of a new genre and generation of entertainment entrepreneurs. Here is a snapshot of Indian genius getting accolades in overseas domain in the recent months (It consciously avoided the laurels achieved more than three months ago lest it sound stale):

His Name is Khan Khan Bollywood Badshah Shahrukh in his and n, agai yet e, nam his proved ie mov the With . style e itabl inim own tity, iden and re statu his ig olisin symb of box Khan proved he is still the king The ad. abro and India in office The chartbusting stats are testimony. ted direc and ced odu n-pr Joha Karan ns scree hed scorc Khan is e My Nam billion worldwide and raked in Rs 1.5 box (Rs 150 crore) at the worldwide . days ten in office est The movie is already the bigg in 10 with time all Bollywood hit of ca, Afri h Sout days in the UAE, re, Holland, Hong Kong, Singapo ca, Afri t Wes Indonesia, East and Denmark, Nor way, Sweden, and Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Thailand Mauritius. not In the Middle East, the movie has d woo only smashed all existing Bolly records within 10 days, but even ious beaten the Fox Searchlight’s prev re onai highest grosser Slumdog Milli ait, in Bahrain, Oman, Qatar, Kuw

It is truly proving to be India’s first global Bollywood film.”

Empire International Middle East head Mario Haddad said, “the movie has incredible legs. The drop in the second week is less than 10 per cent. We expect

By third week of Feb, the movie grossed $1.86 million in the US, beating previous best Om Shanti Om’s $1.76 million collection. The Fox Searchlight

to the it to have a long run here. Due an, Jord in demand, we are opening 10.” ch Lebanon and Syria on Mar In the UK, MNIK has become the on, fastest movie to cross GBP 2 milli days. 11 just in with feat the g managin s even The strong run in UK continue way its on is and k, wee nd seco in the in K3G rd reco ime all-t the king to brea k. the UK within the coming wee the In the US and Canada, MNIK is time. all of film SRK highest grossing y Singh Fox Star Studios India CEO Vija ring ente said, “We are delighted to be r majo this elite group with our first Bollywood venture. The film was and created for a global audience ldwide. continues to break records wor

release averaged $15,500 from 120 theatres across the United 4 States and Canada over Feb 12-1 Om anza avag weekend. Musical extr on milli 6 Shanti Om grossed $1.7 from 114 theatres when it was released over the Diwali holiday weekend in 2007. the The movie netted £936,000 in rukh Shah ther ano g assin surp UK, starrer Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna’s big £749,243. However, springing $3.3 ed nett ie mov the rise, surp eby million in the Middle East, ther emerged as highest Bollywood d to earner in the region. It is slate four make its place among the top ed Unit the in time all of ies mov Arab Emirates (UAE).

UAE and Egypt.

h man, Turkisrld MNIK in Gercha wide, rtbusting success wo

Overtly buoyed by the German and l soon be dubbed in My Name Is Khan wil . be subtitled in Polish Turkish and will also crore approx.) de $19 million (Rs. 87 The movie which ma r Rs 1.5 ove nd worldwide and in its opening weeke be released in l wil rox) in 10 days, billion ($32 million app se one saw Pha s. mats in two phase foreign language for 40 oss acr ry vie on 12 Februa the release of the mo June and to rch Ma two stars from countries, while phase nal itio rad n-t ling out in 25 no will see the movie rol countries.

’s distributor s, Fox Star, the movie According to source prints, done vie in Poland with 50 would release the mo

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The with Polish subtitles. be n the movie would in a released in Germany n. sio ver ed bb German du

m MN IK at Be rli n Fil Fete:

bal laurel. It ieved yet another glo My Name is Khan ach eening at the movies chosen for scr was one of the pick International Film 60th annual Berlin recently concluded Indian movie to t ever honour for an Festival. It is the firs acclaimed 11-day internationally be screened at the eve nt.


ally Impaired MNIK, Now for Visu ever the first history by becoming MNIK made cinema as with audio be released in cinem Bollywood movie to of Blind People yal National Institute description (AD). Ro ieve this ach 20th Century Fox to (RNIB) worked with tially par or earch among blind milestone after its res 55 per r ove t an origin found tha sighted people of Asi tch wa were more likely to cent of respondents was provided. Bollywood films if AD hted people blind and partially sig AD is as important to ms. It is an se with hearing proble as subtitles are to tho sages of that fits between pas additional narration dy language, bo s, nce ue action seq dialogue to describe r to understand y, allowing the viewe costume and scener is also the ing on screen. MNIK exactly what is happen e AD in Hindi. first movie to featur ever, a Hindi AD er, for the first time “We are proud to off cutive exe Fox entieth Century track on ‘MNIK.’ Tw ng AD has aki spe h ield said. “Englis director Martin Bromf now, so e tim e som our movies for been available on all AD on di Hin er off l to progress and we felt it was natura d.” n with Bollywoo our first collaboratio RN IB an d rec eiv ing he lp fro m Ac cor din g to him , d ha rd to s, the stu dio wo rke De lux e Dig ita l Stu dio

dio cre ate an En gli sh au ich de scr ipt ive tra ck, wh wa s the n tra nsl ate d ed by be for e be ing rec ord dio a Hin di spe aki ng au the de scr ibe r, in tim e for eas e. sec on d we ek of rel

ile t Ha di: Inc lus ive So cie ty Faz Say s RN IB dir ect or Bo lly wo od s are pro du ced by “A rou nd 70 0 mo vie t bli nd an d resear ch tel ls us tha eve ry yea r, an d ou r mo vie s. So s wa nt AD on the se pa rtia lly sig hte d fan wit h us to all ow t Fox ha ve wo rke d we ’re de lig hte d tha en joy thi s mu chsig hte d pe op le to bli nd an d pa rtia lly hte d fam ily an d alo ng wit h the ir sig an tic ipa ted rel eas e Fox ’s lea d er stu dio s wil l fol low frie nd s. We ho pe oth scr ibe d t of ma ny au dio de ma kin g MNIK the firs Bo lly wo od film s.” mo re tha n 300 AD ha s res ult ed in RN IB’s cam pa ign for s to fac ilit ate tem sys eq uip pe d wit h cin em as in the UK film s UK d an of Ho llyw oo d it, an d the ma jor ity the m. on ck tra ntr y ha ve an AD rel eas ed in thi s cou UK am tre ins lud e AD on ma Ma ny DV Ds als o inc rel ea ses .

Korea Offers to Host IIFA Fete The Government of Korea has invited the International Indian Film Academy to host the IIFA h Weekend and Awards in Sout kend Wee Korea, this year. The IIFA of caps a four-day celebration Indian cinema, including a film a festival, various film briefings, e trad a , world-wide film premiere and business Forum, an IIFA into Foundation event and escalate IIFA the night of nights, the IDEA close Awards. The other countries in Sri are bidding to host IIFA 2010 and lanka, Australia, South Africa Abu Dhabi. before The invitation came recently a and a Kore from on a delegati aIndi the at IIFA from on delegati at s ctor Dire i. Delh in t Korea Nigh Wizcraft, Andre Timmins and

a Sabbas Joseph attended the Indi a was Kore re whe ary Janu t Nigh a Kore in the announced as the front-runner h bid to host IIFA 2010. The Sout ak – ng-B Myu Lee t iden Pres an Kore guest at who was in India as the chief in the the Republic Day celebrations ial national capital –made the spec ct. effe this to IIFA the to est requ thanked Sabbas Joseph, Director, IIFA r keen thei for ent ernm the Korean Gov

interest and presented an IIFA er Plaque to H.E. Yu, Inchon-Minist ism Tour and ts Spor ure, of Cult along with Na, Kyung Wonmbly Member of the National Asse n -Hyu ng Cha a. Kore Of c Republi ncil Cou tial iden Pres , ctor Lee Dire d the On Nation Branding explaine for bid to gths stren country’s an hosting the International Indi . emy Film Acad “It is our pleasure that the d president of Korea has extende r thei in 2010 invitation to host IIFA ph. Jose as country,” said Sabb “Korea definitely is one of the IIFA countries we are looking at as l shal we 2010 destination and confirm the country of host for IIFA 2010 very soon.”

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Reliance MediaWorks Explores New Horizons nered with the California-based Reliance MediaWorks has part ersion. The alliance between In-Three for 2D to stereo 3D conv by address the growing demand the two is being established to for tors global content crea Hollywood studios and other in 2D as well as older legacy shot s film converting both new and on home platforms in titles to be released in cinemas stereoscopic 3D. per cater to 15-25 movies projects The partnership is expected to will commence shortly, with year. Work on the first joint title start in the first half of 2010. several projects planned for a g flat 2D movies into “Our unique process of convertin been proven technically, compelling stereoscopic 3D has . In-Three CEO Neil Feldman said artistically, and commercially,” lined has hree In-T of movies that “In order to meet the full slate ht out the best possible soug we nd beyo up for 2010 and and added “one that could international partner,” he said studio clients expect which provide the level of quality our natural choice for us.” made Reliance MediaWorks the Arjun added, “we are very Reliance MediaWorks CEO Anil entertainment market. This excited and bullish on the 3D combines the best of that rt partnership is a joint effo Hollywood with the most from nt technology and artistic tale in image processing capabilities advanced skills and large scale t men ady does image enhance India. Reliance MediaWorks alre the Hollywood studios and and restoration for the leading conversion was a natural o-3D 2D-t expansion of services into next step for the company.” MediaWorks Ltd has expanded Expansion into UK: Reliance ional presence by opening a and strengthened its internat ity ices facility in London. The facil dedicated film and media serv n ersio conv 3D to 2D n, ratio g, resto will offer front-end, processin ios. stud and ters dcas to broa and post-production services , ired the assets of iLabs UK Ltd. Reliance MediaWorks has acqu on’s Lond in g g facilities operatin one of only two film processin choice for high end processing of lab the SOHO. iLabs has been and shorts productions. for film, television, commercial g already secured image processin Reliance MediaWorks UK has ing high profile projects from lead and restoration work for two iaWork’s LA-based subsidiary UK broadcasters at Reliance Med ing film restoration expert. Lowry Digital, Hollywood’s lead for leading studios like Walt ects Lowry Digital has handled proj and 20th Century Fox and Disney, Paramount Pictures, MGM Lucas, Steven Spielberg and rge entertainment leaders like Geo Lowry Digital has handled the James Cameron. Also recently, to Earth from Apollo 11, as part restoration of footage sent back ions of the mission for NASA. of the 40th anniversary celebrat both offer high end services Reliance MediaWorks UK, can as tapping into the quality and within its own facility, as well ugh Reliance MediaWorks’ scale of services available thro operations in India and US.

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Big Cinemas Reach 500-screen Milestone BIG Cinemas, India’s largest domestic and international cinema chain, a division of Reliance MediaWorks Ltd and a member of Reliance ADA Group, has hit its 500-screen milestone with iplex at Kedah, the opening of its newest mult Malaysia. of 500, BIG Cinemas “Hitting the historic milestone ificant,” said Anil screens worldwide is hugely sign Ltd. “This Arjun, CEO, Reliance MediaWorks mpts to build scale, expansion underscores our atte ng formats which quality, innovation and pioneeri rience for audiences improve the movie going expe “there is a great the world over,” he said, adding, structure worldwide opportunity in exhibition infra continues to be an and while domestic expansion fully committed to area of thrust for us, we are also t.” expanding our global footprin stone, BIG Cinemas In its journey towards the mile ional network of rnat inte g has established a stron ide of India. It outs s citie 40 ss over 260 screens acro footprint and US pana ted crea has also successfully i feature Hind of cent per 30 for the circuit accounts of Tamil cent per 75 over and s box office collection s in the US. and Telegu box office collection that Big Cinemas One of the premium offering seas is the BIG brought to cinematic market over five screen multiplex Cinemas-Golf Glen which is a and lounge. in Chicago with a premium bar has a strong affinity The Indian Diaspora overseas mas has aggregated to Indian movies and BIG Cine ss East Coast, a 24-city cinema network acro that now regularly US in t coas t Wes Midwest and Punjabi movie screen Hindi, Tamil, Telugu and od. features, in addition to Hollywo become the thirdAdditionally, BIG Cinemas has playing aysia largest cinema chain in Mal ese, Malay and Chin as Hollywood features as well on people of milli 1.5 the Tamil films which cater to pe, BIG Euro g etin targ Indian origin. Meanwhile to tres Thea é Path Cinemas has partnered with nds. erla Neth the in ies begin screening Indian mov Cinemas has grown In a little over three years BIG in the Indian to establish a dominant presence screens across 75 domestic market securing 240 Indian cities.


Dada Saheb Phalke Honour for VK Murthy Forty years after the institution of the Dada Saheb Phalke Award, it is conferred upon a personality who ‘technically’ belonged to the same ilk (of the legend in whose name the award is given). A cinematographer honoured with the highest filmy award, set up in memory of a cinematographer! Legendary cinematographer V K Murthy has finally been chosen for the 56th Dada Saheb Phalke Award for the year 2008. This is the first time ever that a cinematographer has been selected for this award. It may be interesting to note that Dada Saheb Phalke himself was a cinematographer who had photographed his pioneering feature film Raja Harishchandra. Murthy is credited to have provided some of Indian cinema’s most breathtaking visual moments embedded in the collective memory of the nation. He broke new grounds, ushered in modern and highly sophisticated techniques and brought in rich visual artistry into Indian cinema. Murthy visually ‘shot’ into fame when he cinematographed India’s first cinemascope movie Kagaz Ke Phool and is best remembered as the cinematographer for all of Guru Dutt’s films. Murthy is also one of the pioneers of colour cinematography. His picturisation of the title song of Chaudavin ka Chand mesmerised millions. Classics like Kagaz Ke Phool and Sahib, Bibi aur Ghulam won him Filmfare Awards. Murthy’s other well known works include Baazi, Jaal, Chaudavin ka

V.K. Murthy , S. Guruswamy and Guru Dutt

Chand, Pyasa, 12 o’Clock, Ziddi etc. He also partnered for Pakeezah and Razia Sultan. His working life spans four long decades- from his early collaboration with Guru Dutt in the ’50s, to his work in Shyam Benegal”s mega-serial Bharat Ek Khoj, and one of the most acclaimed Kannada movies titled Hoova Hannu in 1993. Having spent nearly five decades in Mumbai, the ace cinematographer is now based in Bengaluru. Tailpiece: A renowned cinematographer though he is, Murthy, in fact, started his career in cinema as a violinist. Nice trivia!

Padma Vibhushan Aamir Aamir Khan, one of the Khan-trio enjoying unprecedented public acclaim with his mega hit movie ‘3 Idiots,’ has been conferred with Padma Bhushan, the nation’s third highest civilian honour. The 44-year-old Bollywood star, who struck gold at the box office with his latest outing ‘3 Idiots’ that grossed over Rs. 375 crore at the worldwide box office, is already a recipient of the Padma Shri. Known as a perfectionist, Aamir began his life moviedom as a child actor in his uncle Nasir Hussain’s ‘Yaadon Ki Baraat’ (1973) and then featured in ‘Madhosh’ (1974). Though made his heroic entry as full-fledged actor in Ketan Mehta’s ‘Holi’ in 1984, Aamir rode to overnight stardom only four years later in 1988, the new genre romantic hit ‘Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak.’ Produced by his late father Nassir Hussain and directed by Mansoor Khan, the movie set a new trend in soft and touchy romantic movies in Bollywood.

Aamir followed it up with his first national award winning role in ‘Raakh’ and successful movies like ‘Dil’ (1990), ‘Dil Hai Ke Manta Nahin’ (1991), ‘Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar’ (1992), ‘Hum Hain Rahi Pyar Ke’ (1993), ‘Andaz Apna Apna’ (1994) and ‘Rangeela’ (1995). Making it as an unflinching principle to act only one or two movies a year, Aamir gave some of the biggest hits in the history of Indian film industry, including an Oscar nomination. His biggest hits include ‘Raja Hindustani,’ and ‘Ishq,’ and criticallyacclaimed ‘Ghulam’, ‘Sarfarosh’ and ‘Earth.’ In the new millennium, Aamir rode the peaks of honour and acclaim when he produced the Oscarnominated ‘Lagaan.’ In the same year he starred in yet another mega hit ‘Dil Chahta Hai.’ After that he took a four year sabbatical and returned with Ketan Mehta’s dud ‘Mangal Pandey: The Rising.’ ‘An actor with thinking mind,’ that he is often referred to as, Aamir hit the bull’s eye again with ‘Rang De Basanti.’ After this passionately patriotic movie, Aamir blazed a new trail to success with ‘Taare Zameen Par’, ‘Ghajini’ and ‘3 Idiots’. The other Padmas: Besides Aamir, the others from the film fraternity who have been honoured with Padma Awards are yesteryear actress Zohra Sehgal who has been awarded with the Padma Vibhushan and AR Rahman and Ilayaraja who have been awarded the Padma Bhushan. Evergreen Rekha has been honoured with Padma Shri. Besides Rekha, actor Saif Ali Khan, Oscar-winner Resul Pokutty and theatre artiste Arundhati Nag have also been awarded the Padma Shri.

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3 Idiots Run Away with 10 Screen Awards

Big Pictures’ Movies Win Three Awards Reliance BIG Pictures’ films Rock On and Shob Charitro Kalponik have bagged three National Awards. The awards were conferred on the Big Pictures at the recently concluded 56th National Awards ceremony. The Best Cinematography Award in Non-Feature Film Category was won by cameraman Shariqva Badar Khan for a 15-minute short film Three Of Us. The film was processed at Reliance MediaWorks.

The latest Aamir Khan mega moviefare 3 Idiots stole the 16th annual Star Screen Awards recently grabbing as many as 10 awards. The awards that went to adorn the 3 Idiots include: Best Film, Best Director (Rajkumar Hirani), Best Editor (Rajkumar Hirani), Best Screenplay (Rajkumar Hirani, Abhijat Joshi, Vidhu Vinod Chopra), Best Choreographer (Bosco Ceaser), Best Dialogue (Abhijat Joshi), Best Newcomer – Male (Omi Vaidya), Best Actor in a Comic Role – Male (Omi Vaidya), Best Actor in a Negative Role (Boman Irani), Popular Choice Award for Best Actor – Female (Kareena Kapoor). On the other hand, R Balki’s Paa also bagged a handful of awards. While Amitabh Bachchan won the award for Best Actor – Male, and Vidya Balan walked away with the Best Actor – Female award, Best Female Supporting Actor was given to Arundhati Nag. Pratik Katare won the Best Child Artiste award. Rishi Kapoor won the Best Male Supporting Actor award for Zoya Akhtar’s Luck By Chance. The Best Music was bagged by A. R. Rahman for Dilli 6, and the Best Background Score was awarded to Amit Truvedi for Dev D. Kavita Seth won the Best Female Playback Singer award for Iktaara in Wake Up Sid, whereas Nandita Das bagged the award for the Most Promising Debut Director for Firaaq as well as the Ram Nath Goenka Award. The Most Promising Newcomer Female award went to Mahie Gill for Dev D. Zoya Akhtar’s Luck by Chance also won the Best Ensemble Cast award. Best Story Award went to Imtiaz Ali for Love Aaj Kal.

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Shahid Kapur received the award for Best Actor in the Popular Category for Kaminey. Javed Akhtar was given the Lifetime Achievement Award by Yash Chopra and Amitabh Bachchan, whereas the Jodi No 1 award was bagged by the father-son duo of Amitabh and Abhishek Bachchan.

Rock On, for which Reliance BIG Pictures holds worldwide rights, bagged two awards in the category of Best Hindi Film and Best Supporting Actor for Arjun Rampal. Shob Charito Kalponik, directed by Rituparno Ghosh, staring Prosenjit Chatterjee and Bipasha Basu, has bagged the Award for Best Bengali Film. It was the first film produced by Reliance BIG Pictures.

An Oscar Sort Honour to Vidhu-Hirani The Library of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences has invited the screenplay of Rajkumar Hirani’s 3 Idiots for its permanent script collection. 3 Idiots, a Vidhu Vinod Chopraproduction starring Aamir Khan, Kareena Kapoor, R Madhavan, Sharman Joshi and Boman Irani, released worldwide on 25 December, 2009. Breaking all previous box office records, the movie has gone on to become the highest grossing Hindi movie of all time in India and in the overseas markets- till the Shahrukh Khan-starrer My Name is Khan went past its records. Earlier, the Oscar library has also invited screenplay of movies like Eklavya: The Royal Guard and Lage Raho Munnabhai- both produced under Chopra’s banner. So, it’s an honour for Vidhu Vindo Chopra too.

Rock On, produced by Excel Entertainment, directed by Abhishek Kapoor and distributed worldwide by Reliance BIG Pictures released in 2008. It resonated with millions worldwide and became a cult film that brought rock music to the forefront in Bollywood films like never before. The film stars Farhan Akhtar, Arjun Rampal, Purab Kohli, Luke Kenny, Prachi Desai and Shahana Goswami and had music by Shankar Ehsaan Loy.

Shob Charitro Kalponik, produced by Reliance BIG Pictures is poetry on celluloid which narrates the story of a lady, who after her husband’s sudden death not only averts a possible divorce but also discovers her roots through language of poetry and lost love. The film completed 50 days at the box office and was screened at the Durban International Film Festival, IFFI, Goa and Mahindra Indo- American Arts Council Film Festival, New York.


INDIAPLEXING

It’s K Sera Sera ‘Show’ Now Even as Indian cinema exhibition business is gradually moving towards polarization, there is a new player coming to the fore, and with ambitious designs. Interestingly, this is happening at a time when the industry is coming to its grips, post the recent upheavals, and while most preceding players have apparently taken a back seat after initial euphoria. Nevertheless, it’s the show of K Sera Sera, the Mumbai-based movie production house now. The company that had been doing the ‘show business,’ is now seeking a business from the ‘show.’ A TM perspective. The Indian movie exhibition industry was greeted recently with the coming of a new player in the form of noted movie production and distribution house K Sera Sera when it announced its foray into cinema exhibition business. Capitalising on its already built-strengths in the movie production-exhibition business, the company unveiled its cinema exhibition business plans. As far as the plan is concerned, it appears more ambitious than any of the preceding entrants till now in the recent past: •

A new concept of edutainment cinemas academic programming in mornings and movies in the evenings

500 two-screen ‘miniplexes’ with a total footprint of 1000 screens

A new, patented technology of digital cinema

Operated on a franchisee-basis with the involvement of local entrepreneurs

Seating capacity of 75-125

Multiplex facilities at local costs

Except the own digital cinema technology and low capacity, all other features appear more or less similar to those already existing or proposed by others. As per the company announcement, the company will be incorporating a separate wholly-owned subsidiary for opening these miniplexes. The company’s subsidiary K Sera Sera

Technologies is sourcing the new technology for digital cinema. K Sera Sera targets to open its miniplexes in every district of the country. To make full use of the infrastructure as also to be more purposeful, the miniplex would also seek to double up as an education centre from 6 am to 12 pm. They would screen movies from 12 pm to midnight. The miniplexes will have a feel of the multiplex and will maintain the same quality as a multiplex. K Sera Sera intends to involve local entrepreneurs on franchise basis to launch and operate these miniplexes. According to the company, all that a franchisee needs to have or do to be April-June 2010

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INDIAPLEXING Rs. 40 lakh to Rs. 50 lakh. All other aspects like cinema construction, design, services, equipment, and installation would be handled by K Sera Sera. Indian exhibition industry had been seeing one too many players in the last few years- some with really big and ambitious intentions, some with some seemingly meticulous plans, and some with more or less ambiguous or vague framework. While the most hyped and ambitious announcement a few years ago was that of the Preetish Nandi Communications (PNC)’ premium multiplex outing, it was followed by Mumbai-based Cinemeta, and then came an offshoot from the E-City’s Esselgroup in the form of Bioscope. E-City, of course, has one more offshoot in the form of E-City Digital – coming from E-City Ventures – which is more or less similar to what K Sera Sera intends to do. There are two more mini-multiplex brands too- one each from the west and north Indian multiplex majors. While Mumbai-based Fun Cinemas group has brought to the fore the Talkie Town, New Delhi-based PVR came up with PVR Talkies. Both are more or less similar to each other. The premium offering from PNC hasn’t yet manifested, and Cinemeta quickly disappeared into insignificance. E-City Digital has gained some operable ground, and the Bioscope hasn’t yet realised its full vision. While this being the scenario from the Western part of India, big news broke from Northern India early last year. The market again got hyped up by the intended foray of financial major Indiabulls into cinema exhibition which was soon followed by even bigger newsbreak of Mexican multiplex giant Cinepolis setting up India operations. Both have unveiled plans which were ambitious in their own right. While the Indiabulls’ cinema proposition is anybody’s guess now, the Cinepolis made its presence felt with its first outing recently in Amritsar.

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The first miniplex launched K Sera Sera recently launched what it called India’s first miniplex theatre in Ahmadabad. The two-screen miniplex was launched as one of the anchor entertainment destinations at the Gallops Mall in the city. The miniplex is equipped with satellite-based digital technology, and is designed to manifest a very modernist cinematic experience characterised by thematic, state-of-the art lighting and high-end, acoustically qualified sound system. The satellite technology enables beaming of multilingual movies instantaneously. The miniplex has a total of 150 seats- all done in uniform recliners that can recline up to 150 degrees, enabling patrons sink into cozy confines. They can also savour personalized café service while enjoying the movie. The miniplex launch is claimed to be a step towards reinforcing K Sera Sera’s mission to encourage and enhance cinema viewing- providing the best of Indian and international cinema to all its viewers across the country at low admission rates. “We are extremely proud of our brand equity. We live our brand values and have laid strong emphasis on entertainment which is a fundamental part of every individual’s life,” an ebullient Sanjay Gupta, CEO of K Sera Sera said on the occasion. “Everyone deserves the best and our offer of high quality picture and sound quality, at a low cost which will keep the viewers coming back for more,” he said, and added, “the launch of our first property in India is a fortification of our promise of providing a state-of-the-art 500 theatres with 1000 screens to all movie-enthusiasts in over 500 districts pan India.” Shahrukh Khan hoped that the new miniplex will usher in a change in the movie exhibition industry in India. That a superior movie experience is provided at less than half the rate of the multiplexes, this would encourage patrons to watch movies in theatres only and hence avoid piracy.

There have been some other fancied fortune seekers too but they remained largely non-entities.

made it a mega show with Bollywood Badshah Shahrukh Khan launching the cinema amidst much fan fare.

The K Sera Sera company, now, has made a swift move by actually unveiling its first miniplex expression in Ahmedabad recently. Though a miniplex conceptually, the company

It’s all the more good if this ‘show’ continues to entertain people, and establishes its brand on par, if not stronger than the others in the market already.


INDIAPLEXING

Slow and Steady Indian cinema building spree, it appears rather cautious now. Having been through euphoirc expanion colours, and shake out blues, it is rather cautious now- despite hitting the purple patch again with a series of blockbuster movies and big promises from immediate future. The multiplex launch spree had slowed down but the spirits are high, as usual.

Big Cinemas in Bengaluru Romance, drama comedy, action got a new luxurious cinematic destination in Bengaluru recently with the Mumbaibased multiplex giant Big Cinemas making its first footprint in the Garden City.

BIG Cinemas is planning to further expand and strengthen its presence in Southern India by adding 14 screens this year through launch of three new multiplexes- one each in Bengaluru,

Coimbatore and Hyderabad. The second BIG Cinemas that will come up in Bengaluru is a will again be a threescreen multiplex to be located at Innovation Mall.

Developed as part of the Gopalan Arch Mall on Mysore Road on the city outskirts, the three-screen cinema marks the entry of India’s largest cinema chain. The brand new multiplex houses three contemporary screening rooms with a seating capacity for 1019 people, offering moviegoers the finest customer amenities and a dynamic screen presentation, along with a greater choice of movies and viewing times. The auditoriums are furnished with large screens, stadium-style seating in plush high-backed push back sofas and Dolby sound systems. The company would also offer Movie Munchies, a unique range of food and beverage offerings which have been developed in-house, exclusively for BIG Cinemas guests. Commenting on the occasion Archana Jhangiani, Head – Brand Experience and Design said, “The development of BIG Cinemas in Bengaluru has been remarkable and we are honored to present it as such a distinguished venue with a modern and contemporary feel to the movie loving residents of the city. Through BIG Cinemas, we aim to reinvent the multiplex experience for Bengaluru and provide world class amenities to our audiences.”

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INDIAPLEXING “We are pleased to establish our presence in Bengaluru,” said Ashish Saksena, COO, BIG Cinemas (West and South). “We see considerable untapped potential in Southern India which is a growth territory for us. We believe that everyone deserves to indulge in true cinematic experience the BIG way.” Big Cinemas has a strong presence across Southern India with over 23 properties and 44 screens spread across Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh. It is currently India’s largest cinema chain with over 500 screens spread across 115 cities in India, US, Malaysia and Netherlands and caters to over 35 million consumers.

Inox Footprints in Siliguri After revolutionizing the way the rest of India watches movies, Inox, the Mumbai-based multiplex chain has expanded its footprint to Siliguri. Located at Orbit Mall on Sevoke Road, the latest Inox cinema has four screens with 1041 seats. The multiplex major, therefore, has become the only player in West Bengal to have eight multiplexes with four in Kolkata and one each in Darjeeling, Durgapur, Burdwan, and now in Siliguri. Luxury being the corner stone of Inox multiplexes, the Siliguri cinema is characterised by plush seats with ample leg space, lush carpeting in the auditoriums, a spacious lobbyall backed by world class hospitality that will take the movie viewing experience to a different level altogether. It manifests an excellence in design, ambience, features, safety and service. Fitted with state-of-the-art projection and acoustic equipment, they provide a superior cinema viewing experience

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comparable with the best cinemas across the world. Alok Tandon, CEO, Inox Leisure Ltd. said, “we have ensured that movie lovers in Siliguri enjoy the top of the line Inox experience. With Inox’s convenient location, easy accessibility and modern comforts, we aim to revolutionize the movie watching experience in Siliguri.” Nationally, Inox operates 30 multiplexes and 109 screens in 21 cities across India. After the recent acquisition of Fame Cinemas, its national presence totals to 55 multiplexes with 204 screens.


INDIAPLEXING

SRS Group Expands by Two Venues Faridabad-based SRS Group launched two multiplexes at Indirapuram in Ghaziabad, and the suburb in national capital region (NCR). With these two launches, the Group has increased its footprint to eight locations in and around the NCR. While the SRS Cinemas at Aditya City Centre at Indrapuram is a four-screen cinema with a total of 918 seats, the one at Jaipuria Mall is a three-screen cinema with 974 seats. Both the multiplexes are evenly spread over an

area of 40,000 square feet and characterise distinct cinematic offerings that make the cinemas stand apart from the rest. “SRS Cinemas is our most vibrant brand and we are proud to extend its reach to the residents of Indirapuram in Ghaziabad,” said SRS Group Chairman and Managing Director Anil Jindal. “We offer the best in entertainment to the residents with our two new SRS Cinemas multiplexes. We are keen on ensuring an

unparalleled movie experience in an enjoyable ambience. The SRS Group currently has five other multiplexes in the Delhi-NCR with 11 screens and a capacity of 4604 seats, besides one multiplex in Gorakhpur, Uttar Pradesh, with 3 screens and capacity of 742 seats. The company plans to invest approximately Rs 50 crore to add 24 screens to its current portfolio of 21 screens and take the total screen count to 45 by the end of this year.

Cinepolis India Launches At Amritsar Cinepolis India – the Indian expansion of Mexican theatre giant Cinepolis – has made its first footprint in the country, with the launch of a four-screen multiplex at the Celebration Mall in Amritsar. The Cinepolis movie complex is the first multiplex theatre in the city. Capitalising on the patron enthusiasm about the sci-fi 3D Avatar release in the movie-passionate town, Cinepolis programmed its launch with the release of the James Cameron epic movie. In tune with the modern technology demands, the multiplex features state of the art technology, including the first fully digital and Digital 3D-enabled auditoriums in the state of Punjab.

will be able to offer this to Amritsar audiences.” Cinepolis plans to open 500 screens by 2016. It has already till date signed 160 screens in 10 cities with more than 10 developers. The company plans to open at least 40 screens in 2010 across the country.

Cinepolis India Managing Director and Country Head Milan Saini said on the occasion, “we are excited to open our first multiplex in the country in this great city of Amritsar. With a world class product and a promise to win the hearts and minds of our patrons, we would like to become the number one entertainment option for the city.” Says Cinepolis India Head-Exhibition Ashish Shukla: “Amritsar moviegoers now have a unique never-seenbefore product offering with many firsts for this market. The Cinepolis Digital Experience with 3-D is at par with the best viewing experience anywhere in the world and now we

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