New York: Given the mushrooming of multiplexes, are these multi-screen theatres the preferred choice of masses? No, finds a new study conducted in Indian cities.
In emerging economies, where real estate is expensive and space is limited, there has been a boom in multiplex movie theatre construction fuelled by the conviction that small screens with many show times will increase ticket sales.
But the new research says that the strategy does not always work.
Chicago Booth assistant professor of marketing Anita Rao and Stanford University professor Wesley R. Hartmann conducted the study in the densely populated cities of India where recent economic growth has led to a boom in cinema construction, particularly of multiplexes showing the same film on several small screens.
The found that overall, adding one more show time has a greater impact on boosting ticket sales than increasing screen size.
But, after breaking down the data by demographics, they discovered that urban markets with a large percentage of highly educated consumers showed a preference for wider screens while other regions favoured a greater variety of show times.
"The study has implications for theatre chain owners expanding into international markets," said Rao.
The researchers collected data from 14 markets and seven theatre chains across India, examining consumer choices made for about 600 film screenings over the course of 44 weeks.
While additional shows are generally worth the screen-size tradeoffs, theatre owners need to be aware of the exceptions to maximise ticket sales, researchers said.
The study was published in the journal Quantitative Marketing Economics.