EXECUTIVE Cinema Corporation has set the payback target for its investment in the five-screen Embassy Diplomat multiplex at under four years, which is much quicker than about seven years for other cinemas.
Managing director Jim Patterson said yesterday that the company is also looking for opportunities to develop first-class cinemas in other big cities, such as Phuket, that have a strong premium catchment area, good strategic partners, such as landlords and sponsors, and more than 10 million people on average.
Opened about eight months ago on the sixth floor of Central Embassy shopping complex on Phloenchit Road in central Bangkok, Embassy Diplomat Screens has five all-VIP theatres featuring the best equipment and amenities.
The complex aims to appeal to professionals, expatriates, groups of moviegoers and those wanting a peaceful first-class experience and personalised services.
“We achieved Bt50 million in revenues, including box-office sales and sponsorships, last year when we operated the cinema for only six months,” he said.
“Our attendance is now running at 4,000 to 5,000 movie-goers a month with occupancy of 30 per cent. We, however, expect to boost our occupancy to 40 per cent this year,” he said.
Embassy Diplomat Screens claim to have the highest investment per seat in the world – as much as half a million baht for each of the complex’s 200 seats.
The cinema has seven major category sponsors – AIS, Krungsri Bank, Bangkok Bank, Noble, Mercedes-Benz, Emirates Airline, Heineken and Pepsi.
About 70 per cent of customers are sponsors’ clients enjoying special discounts of 20-50 per cent.
With sponsorship privileges, movie-goers pay only Bt700 per ticket on average, which is lower than other local cinemas of the same class.
“We expect to achieve over Bt90 million in revenue for the full year, of which about Bt70 million will come from the box office, Bt20 million from sponsorships and Bt2 million-Bt3 million from concessions,” he said.
Attendance is split between locals and foreigners. About 90 per cent of the foreigners are expats and the other 10 per cent are tourists. The cinema sees good potential to increase group bookings and repeat customers, which are now 40 per cent of attendance.
“What we are trying to do this year is to correct the misunderstanding about our highest price and early service problems via direct marketing and world-of-mouth activities,” he said.
“We will communicate ourselves to our clients, including business groups and expatriates, to recognise our status and effort in keeping our price a good value via sponsors and partners. “Our objective for this year is to increase attendance at our cinema by at least 25 per cent,” he said.