Poor Showing For Movie Industry

“Since the flooding hit many provinces, the company has witnessed a 30-to-40-per-cent drop in ticket sales, especially after the temporary closing of 12 branches last week,” Jim Patterson, general manager of Paragon Cineplex and IMAX, told The Nation yesterday.

However, the Paragon cineplex, which has not yet been affected by the flood, gained 30 per cent in ticket sales last month over the same month last year. Last week the performance of this branch was also pretty good, he said.

The rise was partly due to the low base in October of last year, when this branch stopped operating because of the political unrest during the red-shirt protest.

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At least five movies have postponed their openings from this month. Two are local films – “ATM” and “Meung Ga Gu” (Friends Never Die), deferred indefinitely – while the other three are foreign movies – “Tintin 3D”, rescheduled to December 29, and “Immortals” and “Real Steel” to December 1.

The postponements also caused event marketing and promotions to be put off, but business should bounce back in December or early next year, Patterson said.

DBS Vickers Securities reported last week that the temporary closure of Major Cineplex’s 12 branches so far because of the floods is affecting 103 of its 373 screens. With this disruption, the company’s earnings are expected to be soft through next quarter.

However, Major enjoyed strong traffic at branches outside flooded areas. Box-office receipts for Thai films “30 Kam Lung Jaew” and “Top Secret” have reached Bt60 million and Bt40 million. Attendance upcountry remains strong.

Major’s earnings should start recovering in the second quarter of next year, driven by attractive film releases pushed back from the current quarter to the first quarter of next year. However, Major sees a glimmer of hope as the inundation in the Pinklao area receded last week, so it reopened two cineplexes there – the 12-screen standalone branch on Sunday and the 13-screen branch at CentralPlaza Pinklao yesterday.

SF Cinema City has also had temporarily to close four branches with 35 screens at The Square in Nonthaburi’s Bang Yai district, Central Ramindra, Central Ladprao and The Mall Bangkae. A source at SF Cinemas said two movies were postponed from this month – “Tower Heist” and “Mid Mile Racing Love”.

M Pictures Entertainment, a distributor of films to cinemas and producer of video discs, has suspended the launch of movies and DVDs to early next year because retail outlets in Bangkok and elsewhere in the Central region are affected by the floods while transport is disrupted.

Chief executive officer Padet Hongfa said this crisis might cost the company about 15 per cent in lost sales this quarter. This could force it to lower its revenue target to Bt1 billion from Bt1.1 billion.

The company said it had relocated its head office from Suzuki Avenue Ratchayothin to Charn Issara Tower II on New Phetchaburi Road because of the floods.

Source : http://www.nationmultimedia.com/business/Poor-showing-for-movie-industry-30169893.html

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