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PVR Inox Gets A Rs 100 Crore Weekend: What’s Making Viewers Come Back To The Cinemas?

PVR Inox attributed the record numbers to solid box office performances of films released last week including Gadar 2, Jailer, and OMG 2

By Jessica Jani
New Update
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India’s largest film exhibitor PVR Inox on Monday announced that it had recorded the highest ever daily and weekend footfalls and box-office collection over the last weekend. The multiplex chain said that on August 13, it saw the highest single-day numbers across their circuit, with 12.8 lakh guests and Rs 39.5 crore gross box office revenue. The August 11-13 weekend was also the “biggest weekend ever” in the company’s history, with 33.6 lakh guests across cinemas and a gross box office collection of over Rs 100 crore. 

But it’s not just PVR Inox. The Producers Guild of India (GUILD) and the Multiplex Association of India (MAI) said that the August 11-13 weekend was the busiest single weekend post re-opening across theatres and has set a new all-time theatrical box office record for the industry. This weekend drew more than 2.10 crore people in theatres across the country, the highest in 10 years, and saw a gross box office collection of over Rs 390 crore, the GUILD and MAI said in a release.

What’s Bringing People Back? 

PVR Inox attributed the record numbers to solid box office performances of films released last week including Sunny Deol-Ameesha Patel starrer Gadar 2 (which collected Rs 135 crore in three days), Rajinikanth’s Jailer (worldwide box office collection of over Rs 222 crore by day four), and Akshay Kumar sequel OMG 2 ( which collected Rs 43.56 crore in the first three days), in addition to the continued success of Alia Bhatt-Ranveer Singh starrer Rocky aur Rani ki Prem Kahani (Rs 130 crore collected so far) and Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer. “This record-setting result validates that consumer enthusiasm for experiencing films in an immersive, larger than life, cinematic environment is as strong as ever,” the exhibitor said in a release. 

“Mainstream storytelling executed in the right way has resulted in the box office records being shattered,” Shibasish Sarkar, president of the Producers Guild of India said in a statement. “This weekend shows that movies and cinemas are back in a big, big way. We look forward to this momentum continuing in the rest of 2023,” added Kamal Gianchandani, President of MAI. 

While there was a scare in the post-Covid world that audiences won’t come back to the cinemas anymore, this weekend has proved the contrary. 

“First Pathaan and then again Gadar 2 – they have proven that if you good stuff, people are willing to come to the cinemas,” veteran film trade analyst and host of ETC-Bollywood Business Komal Nahta told The Core. 

Cinemas have been struggling to get people back to the big screens post the Covid-19 pandemic, with footfalls falling from 1.46 billion in 2019 to 994 million in 2022. From introducing better technology and experiences to lowering prices of theatre snacks, big screens like PVR have been pushing to bring back crowds. 

In 2022, several highly anticipated Bollywood films such as Amir Khan’s Laal Singh Chaddha (which collected just Rs 60 crore domestically), Akshay Kumar’s Samrat Prithviraj (about Rs 68 crore collected domestically) and Ranbir Kapoor’s Shamshera (domestic collection about Rs 50 crore) saw dismal box office performances. A handful of Hindi films, like The Kashmir Files (crossed Rs 250 crore) and Gangubai Kathiawadi (collected over Rs 150 crore domestically) performed well. Conversely, regional language films like RRR (domestic box office collection of about Rs 936 crore), Kantara (crossed Rs 300 crore domestically) and KGF 2 (domestic collection of over Rs 1000 crore) did exceptionally well in theatres last year.

Will This Boom Continue? 

While this weekend's record could be attributed to multiple big films releasing at the same time, which doesn’t happen often, “it definitely heralds good times again,” Nahta said. “Some were thinking that people don’t want to go to the cinemas, but the truth is that they don’t want to come to the cinemas if you give them average ,” he said. “So the standard of their viewing has gone up.” 

The rest of the year looks promising with several big-ticket films like Dream Girl 2, Dunki, Jawan, and Tiger 3 lined up. 

While there has been concern over OTT platforms eating into theatre viewership, we also have OTT platforms to thank for changing which movies we watch in the cinemas. Regional language films overshadowed Hindi films at the box office last year, and this year too, Hollywood films like Oppenheimer, and Tamil-language thriller Jailer have been big draws.

 “Because of OTT viewing, language has become secondary, because people have gotten used to seeing cinema either subtitled or dubbed in different languages,” Nahta pointed out. “Secondly, our Hindi content was not really up to the mark, which is why people appreciated that,” he said, adding that blockbusters and hits in different languages are here to stay.

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