In 2018, over three billion tickets were sold in India, while the US and Canada together saw only 1.3 billion ticket sales.
India’s low screen count1 can primarily be attributed to the low penetration of movie theatres in tier II, III and IV markets. Leading multiplex chains like PVR, INOX and Carnival Cinemas, as well as upcoming players, have identified these markets as the next frontier for growth. While working on premium offerings for the urban market, they are attempting to increase their footprint in the smaller markets. The plot
While multiplexes have changed how urban India watches movies, a large part of the country still flocks to the single screens. The 2019 FICCI-EY report states that the top four multiplex chains of India account for 41% of the domestic box office collections; but they account for just 22% of the total screen count. In 2018, only a third of the 9,601 screens were multiplexes.
That’s why multiplex owners are making a beeline for smaller towns. “Our focus is on towns where the population is one lakh or less and which are surrounded by towns with a population of 10,000-15,000,” says Mohan Umrotkar, CEO, Carnival Cinemas, indicating a plan to make the central town an entertainment hub for neighbouring towns.
- 1. The Indian film industry is among the largest in the world in terms of movies released annually. In 2018, 1,776 films were released in India, while only 878 films (including foreign titles) were released in the US. India also outdoes the US in terms of cinema admissions — in 2018, over three billion tickets were sold in India, while the US and Canada together saw only 1.3 billion ticket sales. However, as per a FICCI-EY report, the number of screens in India is a fraction of what the US has — 9,601, as against the 55,623 screens in the US, as of 2018.