Hollywood Saves PVR Inox as Bollywood Bombs at Box Office

International cinema helped India’s biggest movie operator PVR Inox post a rise in first-quarter revenue, as Hindi films failed to bring moviegoers to theatres. A struggling Hindi film industry, coupled with the popularity of streaming services, has made it difficult for traditional theatres to bring in more people. The company said the June quarter witnessed a muted start, with limited releases in Hindi, but saw the highest number of Hollywood movies since the pandemic. This helped the firm log a more than 30 percent jump in revenue from operations to 13.05 billion rupees.

The box office picked up pace in May with the release of the controversial The Kerala Story, besides Fast X and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 from Hollywood, it added. PVR Inox, in its second quarter as a merged entity, posted a net loss came of 81.6 crore rupees, compared with a loss of 333 crore rupees last quarter.

It has about 35 percent to 40 percent market share in screenings for Bollywood movies, according to Emkay Research analysts. This came on the back of rising expenses with increased spends on food and beverages and heightened movie exhibition costs. India’s largest cinema operator, with 1,702 screens, has been recently banking on Hollywood’s Oppenheimer and Barbie to pack theatres, the combined advance sales for which were the highest for any film outside the Marvel or Avatar series.

“It’s heartening to see the blockbuster success of unconventional movies like Barbie and Oppenheimer in India, clearly indicating that audiences choose the big screen for a unique cinema experience,” PVR Inox Managing Director Ajay Bijli said. The firm said it was ‘optimistic’ for the rest of the year, with improved performance of mid-scale Hindi movies. PVR Inox’s shares were up as much as 2.4 percent on Tuesday.

© Thomson Reuters 2023

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