Lack of access to cinema theatres for half of the population in India being the strong reason behind 98% of Indians not watching the most awaited blockbuster Bajrangi Bhaijaan on screen.
Bajrangi Bhaijaan, starring superstar Salman Khan, made a mark in the box office with over Rs. 300 crores. But what shocked an official in the same field was that only 2% of Indian people watched the movie in theatres.
According to the sources, the television premier of the movie was witnessed by about 74.5 million people all over India. But a session that was conducted to analyze the loss of audience in cinemas revealed that only 3 crores 21 lakh people had watched this blockbuster movie in theatres.
Lack of access to cinema theatres being reason behind why 50% of the people did not watch the movie in theatres. P V Sunil, Director and CEO of Carnival Cinemas also said, “Seven screens cater to one million people in India vis-a-vis over 100 screens in US. As of today, only 15 per cent of total screens in India constitute multiplexes while the rest are still single screen cinemas. Despite being the largest producer of films in the world, India still struggles to generate revenue because most people still have no access to screens,”
Devang Sampat, business head – strategy, Cinepolis India opines that taking a different approach in this regard, such as targeting tier 2, tier 3 as well as tier 4 cities. He also added that opening multiplex cinemas in smaller cities can elicit response to a good extent.
Devang Sampat also mentioned that multiplexes usually depend upon malls and this trend might not be a healthy one and said, “In places like Madhya Pradesh, people literally travel 50 km to watch movies. Why not we take the screens to them? Why not build multiplexes in these places? Indians don’t watch cinema for entertainment; it’s a culture for us,” “We were the first to open a four-screen multiplex in Patna. The response has been extremely good and its average ticket price is same as that of Mumbai’s. This means there are people with high spending capacity even in smaller cities,” he elaborated.
Sohan Roy, founder chairman and CEO of Aires Group of Companies, said that technology has a role to play in the raise in footfalls. He expressed his views saying, “Take the case of ‘Baahubali’, which ran houseful for 15 weeks in our cinemas. It was screened in 4K projection and the audience loved the experience. They watched it more than once. Technology plays a pivotal in drawing audiences for the overall experience in a cinema hall,”