Content is king as viewers troop back to cinemas

NEW DELHI : The theatrical business is starting to show green shoots of recovery buoyed by a slate of successful films from Hollywood such as Mission: Impossible Dead Reckoning Part One, Oppenheimer and Barbie and Hindi romantic comedy Rocky Aur Rani Kii Prem Kahaani.

Theatre owners and producers say that the success, especially of the seemingly niche American titles underlines the willingness of audiences to come to theatres, as long as there is compelling content.

Similar success stories have been seen in Punjabi and Marathi cinema where Carry On Jatta 3 and Baipan Bhari Deva have done well despite being made on a smaller scale, proving that Bollywood needs to focus more on character development and storytelling.

“Our business is entirely content-driven and our experience over the past 15 months since the last lockdown has been that while people may be apprehensive otherwise, if there is good content on offer, they are coming back to cinemas in good numbers,” Sanjeev Kumar Bijli, executive director, PVR Inox Ltd said.

While sleeper hits have returned to Hindi cinema only now with a small-scale film like Zara Hat Ke Zara Bach Ke minting over 87 crore, markets such as the South have done well not only with dubbed versions of entertainers like KGF: Chapter 2 and Kantara finding draw across India but even movies like Bro (Telugu), Baby (Telugu) and Maamannan (Tamil) resonating, albeit in their home states.

A delay in Bollywood releases in the past few months may be attributed to filmmakers delaying their films in order to get the product completely right, Bijli said.

While a lot of films come with initial hype, the big takeaway from the past few months is that the scale of production doesn’t matter as long as content manages to touch an emotional core with audiences, said Shariq Patel, chief executive officer at Zee Studios. “The big scale spectacles aren’t necessarily working anymore. It is more important for audiences to root for the characters and invest in the world created,” Patel said.

Be it Malayalam film 2018 that has now emerged as the highest grossing movie ever made in the language, or Zee’s own family drama Mrs Chatterjee vs Norway that made around 21 crore when released in March, audiences can no longer be taken for granted, Patel added.

Apart from Hollywood films setting the cash registers ringing, the heartening news is that even Bollywood movies have begun clocking encouraging, if not outstanding numbers, said Tanuj Garg, partner, Ellipsis Entertainment.

More films are now planning releases and much confidence has been restored, he added. “The reduction in F&B prices by multiplexes is also a huge incentive. It shows that they’re also making an effort,” Garg said referring to the combo offers initiated by PVR Inox that make certain items available for Rs. 99 on weekdays between 9 am to 6 pm and allow unlimited refills on the weekends.

As with Pathaan, The Kerala Story and Zara Hat Ke Zara Bach Ke, the lesson also is that films need to seem worth the time and money for small-town India. “In case of a lot of films post covid that were urban and elitist, there was a deep disconnect with the sensibilities of audiences at large. That is an issue because viewers in metros like Delhi or Mumbai, are anyway spoilt for choice and it is these tier-three and four audiences who need avenues for collective recreation,” said film distributor and exhibitor Akshaye Rathi.

Catch all the Industry News, Banking News and Updates on Live Mint.
Download The Mint News App to get Daily Market Updates.


Updated: 05 Aug 2023, 12:47 AM IST

Denial of responsibility! is an automatic aggregator around the global media. All the content are available free on Internet. We have just arranged it in one platform for educational purpose only. In each content, the hyperlink to the primary source is specified. All trademarks belong to their rightful owners, all materials to their authors. If you are the owner of the content and do not want us to publish your materials on our website, please contact us by email – at The content will be deleted within 24 hours.

Read original article here

Leave A Reply