Chicago: With Indians present in every corner of the world, the love for Indian movies refuses to die down. Owing to the strong demand for movies, BIG Cinemas has become India's first cinema chain to satisfy the audiences abroad, by making its presence felt all over the world including the United States.

"There is a strong demand for Indian content across all markets and our cinemas are performing extremely well," said Anil Arjun, CEO, Reliance MediaWorks.

"Cinema dependents on various factors like content strength, show timings, show day etc. Movies with a strong star cast like 'Dabangg', '3 Idiots', 'My Name is Khan' and 'Robot' have performed at 100 per cent occupancies in our USM cinemas also," Arjun said.

Launched in 2008, the first BIG cinemas came up in American states New Jersey and Georgia. It has currently reached Illinois, California, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee and Virginia.

"BIG Cinemas has over 205 screens present across 24 cities and the circuit accounts for 20 30 per cent of Hindi features box office collections and over 70 per cent of Tamil and Telegu box office collections from the US," he said.
With a vision to capture the Indian diaspora, he said, movies with superstars are a hit among audiences.
Catering to the huge Tamil population, the company has also entered Malaysia and Netherlands.

"In Malaysia, we now have a strong presence of 72 screens that play Hollywood features besides Chinese and Tamil films that cater to the 1.5 million Tamil populations," he added. With Bollywood swiftly mingling with Hollywood, many Hindi movies like 'My Name is Khan' and 'Kites' are being produced by international banners.

"The integration that is happening at the production and distribution level across Hollywood and Bollywood would help increase the cross-over learning for players on both sides and help the market grow.

"Earlier, Indian film distribution in the US used to be disorganised due to limited number of prints, inadequate marketing and lack of screens. '3 Idiots' acted as game changer and penetration doubled with BIG Cinemas reaching out Indian films to south Asian audiences across US," Arjun said.

"Filmmakers have realised the potential of the US market and this has led to planned releases through focused marketing," he added.

Bollywood actors like Om Puri and Aishwarya Rai, Naseeruddin Shah have showcased their talent in Hollywood movies, drawing Indian audiences to cinemas.

"Superstar Hrithik Roshan visited Manhattan to promote 'Kites' and similarly Akshay Kumar and Imran Khan visited our cinemas for promotion of 'Tees Maar Khan' and 'Break Ke Baad' respectively which helped," Arjun said.

BIG Cinemas has also partnered with IMAX Corporation to install a new world class digital projection system in IMAX theatre in Mumbai to screen 3D films.

"The 3D momentum has picked up significantly in India from the release of 'Avatar'. IMAX 3D enhances the 3D viewing experience. In fact, 'Avatar' is still playing at our IMAX 3D screen and continues to do well even after one and half year of release," said Arjun.