They might time their popcorn breaks differently, giggle loudly when the bad guy in the film gets punched or laugh uncontrollably at something the adult world considers boring, but they drive owners of big cinemas in the city to attempt new marketing strategies.

It is not just children who eagerly look forward to their summer vacation. Film producers and theatre owners in the city eagerly await vacation time, as children are more likely to come and catch a few films.

Targeting children

In fact, most of the films that cinemas will be screening this summer are targeted at a young audience or are to do with themes centred on children.

Swaroop Reddy of Sathyam Cinemas says it is bound to be a good season. “We started off with Rio, an animation film. Actor Vikram's Deiva Thirumagan is slated for release in May and we hear it is a film that children and their families will find interesting,” he says.

The impact of the vacation is quite visible, says Arjun Chockalingam, executive director, Sangam Cinemas. “When compared to its first week, Rio has picked up very well in the last couple of days, after vacation began,” he observes. The film is about Blu, a domesticated macaw, whose wild side surfaces in response to certain situations.

“We have about four 3D films lined up for release in the coming weeks, in addition to films in regional languages,” Mr. Chockalingam adds.

Tamil films

With regard to Tamil films, Vaanam, Ko and Deiva Thirumagan are due for release. Of these, Deiva Thirumagan starring actor Vikram is expected to appeal to children.

With the production team marketing the film as something “for the child in everyone”, the film has evoked curiosity.

The invitation to its audio launch carried a host of colourful gifts, including balloons, whistles, candies and sweets backed in a bad filled with confetti.

Yogi Bear, Priest and the latest film of the Pirates of the Caribbean series are other 3D films slated for release this season.

“Vacation time definitely assures better occupancy. We try to screen the children's films in the mornings and afternoons, as it might be difficult for them stay up late,” says Mr. Chockalingam.

Additional excitement

Sathyam Cinemas is also planning some additional excitement for children. “We have not decided yet. But we know they will come, particularly for the morning shows,” Mr. Reddy says.

While those running cinemas are busy strategising, there may not be one simple answer to the question, “What makes a good children's film?”

Ask 10-year-old Maria Mathew and she has an elaborate explanation. “Everyone is talking about Rio, but I am not sure if I want to see it. I prefer Hindi, Tamil and Malayalam movies to 3D films. We are planning to watch a couple of films this vacation. I will ask my parents and decide,” she says. On her favourite film, she says: “Oh, 3 Idiots is something I liked a lot.”

Keywords: Sathyam Cinemas

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Meera SrinivasanJune 28, 2012