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Major focusing on customer lrelations to boost IMAX sales

TO INCREASE cutomers at its IMAX venues, the country's largest theatre chain Major Cineplex Group is placing greater emphasis on its customer-relationship management strategy through a new membership programme.

Jim Patterson, director of business development at Major's Krungsri IMAX, said last week that the the strategy was key for the rest of the year and next year in order to introduce customers to an enhanced viewing experience with high-definition and cutting-edge technology - including "real" 3D.

"Thai movie-goers, like in many countries, choose films to watch in a cinema because of its title, not so much about the quality of sound and viewing experience," Patterson said.

"This membership programme called 'M Generation IMAX' will get them to try this new experience."

Patterson did not comment on the initiative's pricing strategy, but members get a discount and privileges like a free movie ticket on their birthday and free vouchers for popcorn and a soft drink.

Ticket prices at IMAX are normally higher than regular theatres. Tickets at IMAX start at Bt260 while those at Major's regular theatres begin at Bt190.

Patterson expects that by the end of the year there will be some 20,000 M Generation IMAX members.

Currently, Major has 2.2 million M Generation members.

Given this strategy, the company has forecast a 10 per cent year-on-year increase in traffic and revenue at its five IMAX theatres - three in Bangkok, one in Chiang Mai and one in Hat Yai. Of the Bt95-million revenue from the IMAX theatres last year, 60-70 per cent came from ticket sales, 10 per cent from sponsorship and the rest was from concession and advertising sales.

Last year the company sold about 500,000 IMAX tickets for 16 Hollywood films.

It projects that IMAX theatres will generate at least Bt135 million this year and Bt185 million next |year.

By end of the year, it will open another flagship theatre, including an IMAX theatre, at The EmQuartier shopping mall.

The Bt72-million IMAX theatre at the high-end complex will have 500 seats.

Patterson expects the customer- relationship management strategy will boost traffic at the new theatre as well.

After opening the flagship theatre, the total number of IMAX seats will be 2,500.




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