PVR-Inox, India's leading multiplex operator, has reported a Rs 333 crore net loss for Q4, despite revenues doubling to Rs 1,143 crore from Rs 536 crore in the same quarter of the previous year. In response, it plans to close around 50 screens that have been consistently operating at a loss or are located in underperforming malls. This poor performance is attributed to declining content quality in Bollywood, affordable large-screen TVs, and the growth of OTT platforms. Many recent films have failed to resonate with audiences, while large-screen TVs provide a more accessible cinematic experience at home. Meanwhile, OTT platforms offer diverse content bundled with broadband subscriptions, altering viewing habits and challenging traditional film production and distribution.
PVR-Inox, the leading multiplex chain operator, has recently declared a substantial net loss of Rs 333 crore for the quarter ending March. This figure stands in stark contrast to the profit of Rs 16.1 crore that the company posted in the preceding December quarter, and also reflects a significant increase from a loss of Rs 105 crore in the same quarter of the previous year.
Despite this reported loss, the company saw its revenue from operations more than double during the fourth quarter, amounting to Rs 1,143 crore, compared to Rs 536 crore in the corresponding quarter of the preceding year. This increase indicates a robust revival in business operations and an encouraging rebound in audience attendance compared to the past year.
However, PVR-Inox has recently made public its plan to shutter approximately 50 of its cinema screens within the ensuing six-month period. The rationale behind this decision is twofold. Firstly, it involves screens that have been consistently operating at a loss. This is primarily due to diminished footfall, which could be ascribed to a multitude of factors such as the shift in consumer behavior towards digital streaming platforms, an increase in ticket prices, and lingering concerns over public safety due to the ongoing pandemic. These factors have collectively resulted in a significant drop in cinema attendance.
Secondly, the decision also encompasses screens located within shopping malls that have reached the end of their operational life cycle. These venues have seen a significant decline in visitor traffic over time due to evolving retail trends, the rise of e-commerce, and in some cases, the malls' inability to rejuvenate or modernize. This downturn in mall footfall has had a corresponding impact on the patronage of cinema screens within these establishments.
The larger reasons for the declining fortune of multiplexes can be attributed to the combined effect of the following four reasons:
Over the past few years, there has been a palpable decline in the quality of content produced within the Bollywood film industry. Many movies released since 2021 have not been able to captivate audiences or generate the anticipated box office revenues. This drop in quality and the resultant lack of audience engagement is becoming a critical concern for the industry.
One of the core issues contributing to this phenomenon is the failure to deliver compelling narratives that resonate with contemporary audiences. Many films appear to have traded nuanced storytelling and character development for larger-than-life personas and excessive spectacle. This approach tends to disengage discerning viewers who are seeking more substantive content.
For instance, consider the commercial disappointment of the film "Radhe: Your Most Wanted Bhai" released in 2021. Despite being headlined by a major star and having a significant promotional campaign, the film was largely criticized for its lackluster storyline and weak character development. The result was underwhelming box office receipts and negative reviews.
Similarly, the 2022 film "Bachchan Pandey" suffered a similar fate despite a star-studded cast. The film’s weak script and plot inconsistencies overshadowed the performances, leading to a tepid audience response and underperformance at the box office.
This trend of subpar content quality is not just detrimental to the commercial success of individual films; it poses a significant threat to the overall health and reputation of the Bollywood film industry. The inability to consistently produce high-quality, engaging content could lead to further erosion of audience trust and potentially drive viewers towards alternative forms of entertainment, such as international cinema or digital streaming platforms.
As such, it is imperative for the industry to prioritize the production of well-crafted, engaging narratives that align with the evolving tastes and expectations of today's audiences. The focus should be on fostering creativity, promoting innovation, and ensuring a high standard of content quality to regain audience trust and safeguard the future of the Bollywood film industry.
In recent years, advancements in technology and increased competition among manufacturers have made large-screen televisions more affordable than ever before. It's now possible to purchase a 42-inch television for less than 25,000 rupees, a price point that was unthinkable just a few years ago. This shift in the market dynamics has made large-screen home entertainment accessible to a broader consumer base.
Historically, one of the unique selling points of cinema theaters was their large screens, which offered a viewing experience that smaller home televisions could not replicate. A typical home might have a 21-inch television screen, which paled in comparison to the massive screens found in movie theaters. This vast size difference was often a significant factor that motivated individuals to visit cinemas for an immersive experience.
However, the advent of affordable large-screen televisions is changing this dynamic. A 42-inch screen provides approximately four times the viewing area of a 21-inch screen, thereby substantially enhancing the home-viewing experience. This increase in screen size, coupled with the advancements in high-definition and ultra-high-definition technologies, allows viewers to enjoy a cinema-like experience in the comfort of their own homes.
The recent surge in the popularity of Over-The-Top (OTT) platforms can be largely attributed to the strategic bundling of broadband subscriptions with these digital services. For a nominal additional cost, typically around 200 rupees, users can gain access to a wealth of diverse content across multiple OTT platforms. This business model has not only expanded the reach of these platforms but also significantly enriched the viewing experience for subscribers.
This enriched experience is due in large part to the expansive selection of content available on these platforms. OTT services host a plethora of diverse content, from local and international films to web series, documentaries, and reality shows. This broad range of offerings ensures that there's something to cater to every viewer's taste.
For instance, Netflix, one of the most popular OTT platforms, has been home to numerous critically acclaimed original series and films. Shows like "Stranger Things", "The Crown", and "Money Heist" have won over audiences worldwide, while films such as "The Irishman" and "Marriage Story" have been lauded by critics and viewers alike.
Amazon Prime Video, another prominent OTT platform, has also made a name for itself with hit series like "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel", "Fleabag", and "The Boys". In India, it premiered successful films such as "Sherni" and "Sardar Ka Grandson" directly on its platform, bypassing traditional theatrical releases.
Similarly, Disney+ Hotstar has been at the forefront of delivering quality content to its subscribers, including popular series like "The Mandalorian" and "WandaVision", as well as a multitude of Disney and Marvel movies. In India, it has been instrumental in streaming major cricketing events and premiering Bollywood films like "Laxmii" and "Dil Bechara".
In conclusion, the entertainment industry is undergoing a significant transformation. The advent of affordable large-screen televisions, the growth of OTT platforms, and changing consumer preferences are disrupting traditional modes of content consumption.
Firstly, concerns over the quality of content, particularly in the Bollywood film industry, have prompted audiences to seek alternative forms of entertainment. This shift in viewer preference underscores the need for filmmakers to focus on delivering more nuanced and engaging narratives that resonate with contemporary audiences.
Secondly, the rise of budget-friendly large-screen televisions has brought the immersive cinema experience into homes. The technological advancements in home entertainment systems, coupled with their decreasing costs, are increasingly making them an appealing alternative to cinema halls.
Lastly, the expansion of OTT platforms has been pivotal in changing the entertainment landscape. The convenience of accessing diverse content at one's own pace and the bundling of these services with broadband subscriptions have contributed to the growing popularity of these platforms.
These factors combined are creating a more competitive environment for traditional cinema. The sustainability of the cinema industry now rests on its ability to adapt to these changes and innovate to provide a unique and compelling value proposition to audiences. Whether it is improving the quality of content, enhancing the cinema-going experience, or embracing digital platforms for content distribution, the industry needs to evolve in alignment with audience preferences and technological advancements to thrive in this new era of entertainment.
The annual budget time has come. On 1st February 2021 finance minister of India Mrs Nirmala Sitharaman will present the budget for the financial year 2021-22 in Loksabh. Every pink paper and some white one also are publishing expectation from the budget. We also have a list of expectation from the budget.
Well a couple of months back (around August-September 2019), many pink papers published news that GST (Goods and Services Tax) will be reduced on automobiles (Cars, Two-wheeler, trucks …). The reason given by these grapevines was low sells of automobiles; however, GST was not reduced.