The FINANCIAL — Amirani Movie Theatre in Tbilisi plans to become a multiplex from 2008, while Rustaveli Movie Theatre, competing with Amirani, plans to launch movies dubbed in the Georgian language. According to Natia Meparishvili, PR & Advertising Manager of Amirani Movie Theatre, these two theatres have the same management, but they are still competitors on the Georgian market.
“Rustaveli is already a multiplex cinema with many halls. Rustaveli Movie Theatre is able to show different types of films and satisfy all customers’ tastes, whereas Amirani has only two halls as of yet,” Devi Gvakharia, Rustaveli Cinema Marketing Director, told The FINANCIAL. “The films most in demand are usually blockbusters, comedies, and cartoons in Georgian. However Georgian movies are also very popular with Georgian audiences.”
Rustaveli and Amirani Movie Theatres’ management is untied but they still remain in competing positions.
“These two theatres have the same management, but are competitors. Even in the case of similar movie projects Rustaveli and Amirani compete with each other to gain customers’ attention with good promoting campaigns planned with their respective PR managers.
Amirani is heavily oriented towards such Promo and PR campaigns. These promo actions are supported by Amirani’s partners. Amirani always plans associated parties suited to any particular film on premier days. It is an additional perk for our visitors. The last party held by Amirani was for the premier of ‘Ocean’s 12’.
The hall was decorated in the style of a casino hall,” Natia Meparishvili, PR & Advertising Manager of Amirani Movie Theatre, declared to The FINANCIAL.
“Today the local market is not deprived of competition despite the acquisition of Amirani’s shares by the Rustaveli cinema. Our management is untied and that means that we often have similar projects, usually blockbusters. We are not very serious competitors at this point but Rustaveli and Amirani still maintain different profiles,” Gvakharia said.
“Rustaveli Movie Theatre is oriented more towards entertainment films; comedies, blockbusters, and cartoons. Even in the case of showing the same movie we are competitors. Thus I would say with confidence that the local market’s efficiency suffers in no way,” Gvakharia added.
According to Gvakharia, Rustaveli Theatre had problems at the beginning. “The new Rustaveli Theatre was opened on July 11, 1999. Rustaveli was the only movie theatre in Tbilisi until the opening of the cinema Amirani, so the Rustaveli movie theatre didn’t have problems in terms of competition, but at the start the main difficulty was the unorganized movie distribution net.
Management of Rustaveli Movie Theatre soon understood the need of a good marketing system,” Gvakharia noted.
“Our aim was to attract the attention of the audience we previously had. Administration guessed that two things were important in this respect; the most important thing being renovation of the distributional net to offer customers new films and the second that we had to learn to pack the product correctly. These two things were the main factors affecting the attraction of our customers again. Ticket prices started at GEL 5-7. The cost seemed high for that period but we had already done marketing research and our administration concluded that the price was acceptable for customers. Today prices have increased, the starting price is GEL 7 and for evening premiers – GEL 10-15,” Gvakharia said.
According to Meparishvili, when Amirani opened in 2002, the movie theatre already had a serious competitor in the marketing field and it was Rustaveli, however the advantage of Amirani was that the movies chosen by Amirani Administration were intellectual films and of refined taste.
“Amirani Movie Theatre is not only oriented towards a good profit index, for our administration the satisfaction of our customers is very important,” Meparishvili added.
The season for renovations starts in September.
“The active season begins in September and will be a period of renovation. New entertainment complex features are also to be added to Rustveli and Akhmeteli Movie Theatres. Rustaveli plans to voice movies in the Georgian language soon. The current existing problem is that of distribution. Our partners provide films only a few days in advance, so it is almost impossible to record Georgian commentaries in this short a time,” Gvakharia said.
According to Meparishvili, Amirani Movie Theatre today has no problems in getting licensed movies from distributional companies.
“Sometimes we hold world premiers in Tbilisi, but this only happens when contemporary premiers are not required by the companies. These kinds of premiers are an additional means to gain profits, but it must be mentioned that each movie theatre has its own loyal customers. The age of our audience ranges from approximately 20-50 years,” said Meparishvili.
“Rustaveli Movie Theatre has approximately 2% of loyal customers, these customers are those who regularly visit our cinema, our cinema is visited every day by approximately 1 500 persons, but not all of them visit our cinema to watch a film, some are there just to use the food court. It is very popular and we often hold launches there,” Gvakharia added.
According to Georgian Movie Theatres, to purchase a licensed movie costs approximately USD 1 500-7 500. The price depends on the popularity of the film and on the awards it has already received or been nominated for. These are the sorts of films gaining great success in the whole world. Examples of the most recently popular blockbusters in Georgia are: Pirates of the Caribbean 3, Spiderman 3, and 300 Spartans.