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PVR expects business to bounce back by year-end

PVR expects business to bounce back by year-end

India's largest film exhibition company PVR operates a cinema circuit of 849 screens in 72 cities said with the industry finally opening up, it expects business to bounce back by the end of 2021

Around 100 films have already been announced for the next four months including big-ticket Bollywood films like Sooryavanshi, 83 and Jersey Around 100 films have already been announced for the next four months including big-ticket Bollywood films like Sooryavanshi, 83 and Jersey

The multiplex industry in India that claims to have suffered losses amounting to Rs 4,800 crore owing to lockdowns and restricted footfalls is finally seeing some green shoots. 

India's largest film exhibition company PVR that operates a cinema circuit of 849 screens in 72 cities said with the industry finally opening up, it expects business to bounce back by the end of 2021. 

"Our traditional business has seen some green shoots in India. One can say safely that we're already on the path to recovery. Maharashtra is slated to open on October 22. Post that there is a slew of Hindi films that have been announced for release dates. Sooryavanshi will be the first one off the block coming out on November 5 and then week after week we have some special films so there's no question that our core business which is feature films will bounce back in 3-4 months," Kamal Gianchandani, CEO of PVR Pictures told Business Today.

Also Read: Diwali arrives early for multiplexes in Maharashtra
 
He added that PVR is very well poised for a strong November-January. "Box office numbers will surprise a lot of trade pundits. We're also benefitting from the boom in the online streaming space on the distribution side as we can now license our content to a streaming platform. We will continue to invest more money, time, effort and resources to grow our distribution arm alongside our cinema business," Gianchandani stated.
 
Around 100 films have already been announced for the next four months including big-ticket Bollywood films like Sooryavanshi, 83 and Jersey. "We expect huge pent-up demand as customers have been in confined living for 18-245 months. Meanwhile, producers have given out dates up to 2022 already. Multiplexes are also innovating on their offerings like INOX partnering with the ITC Kitchens of India for F&B (food and beverages) and PVR piloting esports streaming," Edelweiss said in a report.
 
Earlier this week, PVR announced a partnership with NODWIN Gaming, an independent subsidiary of mobile gaming company Nazara Technologies with the launch of India's first In-Cinema Esports live tournaments. 

Gamers and gaming enthusiasts across the country will be able to participate in online esports cups and in-cinema tournaments with separate prize pools for each city, the company said.
 
"Our purpose at PVR is to gather, grow and entertain communities. With us becoming a part of the Indian esports eco-system, we have the opportunity to serve our purpose by giving PVR communities another entertaining way to gather on our esports platform," Gianchandani said.

Also Read: Multiplex body appeals to Maha govt to reopen theatres on 'urgent basis'
 
He added that even though they are experimenting with different revenue streams, cinema will remain at their core business strategy. 

"Feature films will always be our staple diet. It will always be the main reason why people come to theatres. But we want to expand our customer base. Also, we want to cater to the crossover customer base that we have which is people who want to come to theatres but also those who are into gaming. We want to attract some new customers who normally don't come to theatres. That's the prism through which we're looking at it," Gianchandani noted.
 
With exhibition industries adopting hybrid business models going forward, the multiplex industry estimates Rs 4,000-6,000 crore collections in 2021-showing a strong revival from Rs 2,000 crore in 2020. 

All hopes are now pinned on the upcoming festive season. "Usually, the third quarter of the financial year can bring in box office collections of over Rs 1,000 crore with Diwali alone contributing Rs 200 crore. This festive season we have some big star movies from Bollywood, regional cinema as well as Hollywood," Edelweiss said.