20 Jul – After more than two weeks since cinemas nationwide reopened, Malaysian moviegoers are regaining their confidence to return as they can be seen frequenting their favourite cinemas again.
The biggest draw is no doubt the release of the new "Train to Busan" sequel, "Peninsula."
The Korean zombie movie marks the first big release since cinemas reopened. Prior to it, cinemas were playing reruns and older titles while cinephiles gradually reacquaint themselves with the new cinema environment.
"With the release of "Train to Busan Presents Peninsula" on 15 July, we see an increase of 400% in admission," Cora Lee, TGV Cinemas' Brand & Communications Assistant Manager, told Cinema Online.
She added that the newly opened TGV Tasek Central is among the top five TGV Cinemas locations that are showing positive attendance from local moviegoers, with the other four locations being TGV Central i-City, TGV Sunway Velocity, TGV Sunway Pyramid and TGV 1 Utama.
Meanwhile, Jason Teo, mmCineplexes' Director of Marketing and Business Development, stated that the response from mmCineplexes patrons has been positive since all locations reopened.
"Early indication of the booking trend for the upcoming weekend is encouraging," he added.
Garuna Murthee, Managing Director of LFS Cinemas, said that LFS locations in Kuala Terengganu and Sandakan continue to do well. To attract customers to Petaling Jaya locations, however, LFS has introduced a new promo especially for "Peninsula" ticket holders.
He added that even though LFS Cinemas locations primarily screen Tamil titles, there is currently no new releases from both India and Malaysia, and the earliest that local Tamil film producers will release their titles are either in November or December this year.
Among the new promotions introduced by cinemas to further encourage the return of moviegoers are:
- TGV Cinemas: Customers purchasing with debit card can enjoy RM12 movie tickets all day at Standard, Deluxe, and Deluxe+ halls.
- LFS Cinemas: Each "Peninsula" ticket purchase comes with complimentary popcorn and drink.
- mmCineplexes: Starting from 18 July until 31 August 2020, the following locations will sell RM10 movie ticket during weekday and RM12 movie ticket during weekend.
• mmC eCurve Damansara
• mmC Bukit Jambul Penang
• mmC Prangin Mall Penang
• mmC IOI Mall Kulai
• mmC Segamat Central
• mmC JB City Square
GSC has yet to respond during the time of writing but a quick look at its online bookings indicate that moviegoers are also eagerly visiting GSC locations to catch "Peninsula" on the big screen.
When asked if there has been a significant shift to online booking since cinemas reopened with strict SOPs, Cheah Chun Wai, MBO Cinemas Chief Operating Officer, said that for MBO Cinemas, the moviegoers are making more online bookings.
"There's still a small fraction of customers purchasing their last-minute tickets at the kiosks but otherwise, many have migrated to purchasing tickets and F&B online. To further encourage this, we are offering additional F&B discounts for online purchases," Cora said of TGV Cinemas' customers ticket booking habit.
As for LFS Cinemas, its online booking is momentarily unavailable due to the upgrading of LFS Kuala Terengganu's system but Mr. Murthee assured that it will be up and running again by this week.