Avatar, the biggest blockbuster of the decade, has helped STAR Movies increase its relative channel share by as much as 20 per cent for the week ended August 20.
The movie, written and directed by James Cameron, scored the highest rating, 0.37 TVR, across all English movie channels, helping STAR Movies to bag 25.1 GRPs during the week. For the record, the channel had garnered 16.9 GRPs in the previous week, while its relative channel share stood at 39.39 per cent (47.2 per cent in Week 34).
"Avatar is a once-in-a-decade phenomenon. Therefore, for STAR Movies to sustain such growth is going to be a tough job," says a top executive from a rival channel.
Avatar also received a very big push through the grand marketing campaign launched by STAR Movies. Apart from the huge network push, STAR Movies also designed larger-than-life hoardings with dragon cut-outs, crafted special promos and conducted extensive digital marketing plans for the film's release on the small screen. It also brought blue painted 'Na'vis' from the movie on the streets of Mumbai.
In terms of advertising, too, the movie came in as a winner. Generally, a big English blockbuster finds about four-five sponsors on board. However, Avatar has seen one of the highest sponsorship supports in the English movie genre in recent times, with eight associate sponsors under its wing including LG, Horlicks, Intel, Naukri India, Lays, McCain, Tata Aria and Mushky. Reliance 3G, meanwhile, was the title sponsor.
While the sponsors were shelling out somewhere between Rs 20-40 lakh each for associating with the movie, STAR Movies was selling 10-second spots to the advertisers for an estimated Rs 50,000- 60,000.
Furthermore, while evidently Avatar is the primary growth booster for the channel, the Top 10 performers of the English movie pie also belong to the STAR Movies library.
Consider this: While Avatar leads the charts, The Mummy Returns follows next with a TVR of 0.17. Titanic and Moonraker are the third and fourth most-watched movies for the week, with TVRs of 0.16 and 0.13, respectively. Predator (0.12 TVR), Hollow Man (0.11 TVR), Ghost Rider (0.1 TVR), Spider Man-3 (0.1 TVR), Hancock (0.09 TVR) and Terminator 3 (0.09 TVR) are also part of the Top 10 list.
"STAR Movies planned to show Avatar 14 times between August 14 and August 31. Therefore, at least in the following week, the channel will witness sustainability," says a top media executive on condition of anonymity.