Theatres are actively devising innovative pricing strategies to bring back audiences to pre-Covid levels, as footfall remains 20% lower this year, with Hindi cinema taking a harder hit of about 40%.
What Happened? “Producers, particularly of low-budget films, are choosing to introduce movies at a lower price point to attract a wider audience,” says Gautam Dutta, Co-CEO (North & South) of PVR Inox speaking to MoneyControl.
PVR Inox is working closely with partners such as BookMyShow, Paytm, ICICI Bank and Kotak Bank to devise enticing offers. The partner company pays for these promotional deals, which benefits customers with cheaper tickets and spares PVR Inox from any additional costs.
Film launches such as ‘Zara Hatke Zara Bachke (ZHZB)’ and ‘Spider-Man: Across The Spider-Verse’ used a ‘buy-one-get-one’ offer to drive footfall and revenue. The involved parties share the costs of such cooperative promotions, aiming to increase audience numbers and revenue.
The Pricing Bait: Recognising the importance of ticket prices in driving cinema attendance, more movies like ‘ZHZB’ are pricing tickets lower, around ₹150 per ticket. However, average movie ticket prices still remain in the range of ₹350-400, which is unaffordable for a significant portion of the audience.
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“We need to focus on pricing experiments to attract mass audiences. If prices remain high, audiences may skip theatre viewings and wait for streaming options,” says Santosh Kher, Founder of Creative Viibe Productions.
The pressure on the theatrical business of small and medium-budget films continues, prompting many producers to sell their films directly to streaming platforms. Analysts predict the current theatre occupancy of 16-19% will continue into June, but remain optimistic about a likely rise in business by Q3 and Q4.
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