Not only has the box office seen a growth over the last year, it has also seen significant growth from one quarter to the other in 2013.
Notably, ticket prices have gone up by 10-12 per cent from last year. The major hike has been in the multiplexes and mainly for big-ticket movies. However, this has not deterred viewers from frequenting the movie halls. In fact, with the rise in the number of screens a movie is played, footfalls, too, have seen an increase, though marginal, compared to 2012. This clearly indicates the hunger for Bollywood is growing among the masses.
This year, Indian audiences have had the chance to sample movies across genres as varied as romance, musical, action, remakes, biopics and comedies. From a Bhaag Milkha Bhaag (biopic on Indian athlete Milkha Singh) to Chennai Express (a romantic action comedy), from Aashiqui 2 and Yeh Jawaani Hai Diwani (romantic musical) to Grand Masti (adult comedy), there was a wide variety of fares to choose from.
Gaurav Verma, director, India distribution – studios, Disney UTV says: “This year, the major differentiator has been that content that is well planned, executed and presented has been appreciated. If you notice, the mid-budget movies have done quite well. Movies like Aashiqui 2 and Grand Masti are examples of how this category of movies has surprised us and has been instrumental in driving the growth of the box office.”
While 2012 was the year of “Rs 100-crore movies” with as many as nine films crossing the milestone, this year only four movies reached that figure. Two of them, Chennai Express at Rs 226 crore and Yeh Jawaani Hai Diwaani at Rs 189 crore, have been big hits. Movies Kai Po Che, Raanjhana, Special 26 and Aashiqui 2 have netted between Rs 50 crore and Rs 80 crore.
The year so far hasn’t come without its share of disappointments. Himmatwala and Ghanchakkar failed to enthrall audiences and fell flat.
Independent distributor and trade analyst Suniel Wadhwa says: “The growth can be attributed mainly to two factors - increase in ticket prices and distribution release strategy scale-up with wide release of screens . While the top of the domestic box office chart was dominated by stars, the newcomers also showed promise.”
Multiplexes have also become innovative with pricing strategies for movies, to cope with the slow growth in footfalls. Gautam Dutta, chief operating officer, PVR, says: “The box office surely has increased without any impact on the footfalls. There exists an increase in the footfalls during the weekend, which we at PVR balance out with the help of our pricing strategy. Variation in price of tickets between weekdays and weekends helps us to attain that balance in footfalls.”
The fact that the number of multiplex screens is also growing at a robust pace has lent to the boom in the industry.
The marketing of movies has a lot to do with attracting the audiences to the cinema halls. Movies are being heavily marketed not only through the traditional mediums of print, television and outdoor but also through engagements on the digital platform and on ground activations. Examples of such endeavours like in the promotions for Chennai Express, which made sure the movie was marketed to a large number of people.
Going ahead, there are a few big-ticket movies lined up, including Krissh 3 around
Diwali, Ram Leela in the last week of November, Dhoom 3 in December apart from R... Rajkumar and Bullet Raja. With Krissh 3 touted to have a wider release than Chennai Express, chances are that by the end of the year, we would see more records being broken.