India’s largest multiplex chain PVR in its latest annual report for 2021-22 said that business is expected to grow in the coming quarters, supported by the growth in ATP (average ticket price) and SPH (spend per head) already witnessed in Q3 & Q4 FY 2021-22, occupancy percentage reclaiming pre-COVID highs on the back of stellar content line-up, and the advertising income coming back to pre-pandemic level over the next few months. This comes after two years of slowdown severely affecting the movie exhibition business. The company plans to open around 125 screens during the year.
“This is going to be one of the best years for us. Industry has seen a V shape recovery. There will be a lot of action in making Hindi films bigger in terms of production value. Films that have done well have definitely benefitted from the pent-up demand. There’s a lot of takeaways from the success of KGF and RRR which will benefit cinemas in the future,” Kamal Gianchandani, CEO, PVR Pictures said.
He added that at an overall level, it’s tremendous for film business and exhibition business at large that pan-India language agnostic films are doing well. “In Bollywood, Gangubai Kathiawadi, Kashmir Files, Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2, etc. have done tremendously well. Dubbed versions of international films like Dr Strange, Top Gun, Jurassic World, etc. have also done exceedingly well. Our business is of hits and misses in anyway,” he added.
The multiplex associations and exhibitors have decided to bring back the 8-week window between theatrical release and an OTT release August onwards. “The 8-week window is back. This is very good for the multiplex industry,” he said.
PVR’s merger with rival Inox Leisure is also expected to be completed this fiscal. According to an Elara Securities report, box office revenue is expected to grow 34 per cent for PVR and 33 per cent for INOX versus pre-COVID levels (Q1 FY20). It added that while large Bollywood content had been expected to perform strongly in Q1FY23, it failed to do so, which had a negative impact on box office revenue growth for both the multiplex operators but this was offset by positive surprise from regional and Hollywood content.
Going forward, industry associations and analyst maintain a positive outlook for the industry.
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