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‘Cinema still the most loved form of leisure for Indians’


These are the insights from a report by BookMyShow, based on a survey across 650 towns and cities to understand if movies on the big screen are still a mainstay experience in the out-of-home leisure segment.

Out of the 5,000 respondents, 41% were Gen Z, while 59% were millennials and Gen X. Responses came from cities and towns such as Mumbai, Delhi NCR, Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Ahmedabad, Pune, Surat, Lucknow, Jammu, Chandigarh, Bhopal, Coimbatore, Jaipur, Bhubaneswar and Guwahati.

“The enduring love for movies over the years remains unshaken. First-day, first-shows continue as a sacred tradition for many fans, inspiring cheers at the sight of beloved stars on the big screen. The response to ‘The CineFiles’ survey reaffirms the enduring allure of the big screen movie experience in India,” Ashish Saksena, chief operating officer, cinemas, BookMyShow, said in a statement.

The preference for cinemas is good news for the film industry that saw several theatres, especially single screens, shut down during the covid-19 pandemic. Cinemas were one of the last businesses to resume operations and footfalls remained low until 2022, with many attributing it to the rising interest in streaming apps that brought entertainment home.

After southern language hits, Hindi films too have bounced back recently, with Pathaan, Jawan and Gadar 2 crossing the 500 crore mark.

“The July-September quarter surpassed the highest expectations, marking a record-breaking period for the industry. We have witnessed a remarkable resurgence in theatres, especially those that were hit hard by covid. The renewed enthusiasm can be attributed to the availability of the right content that has deeply resonated with viewers,” Devang Sampat, chief executive, Cinepolis India, had said in a recent interview.

Further, 38% of Gen Z and millennials said they go to movies as a stressbuster, and an immersive, big screen experience offers an easy escape from reality. while 26% of Gen Z and 36% of millennials think of stepping into a theatre every single week. Besides, 63% have movies on their mind at least once every fortnight.

While 74% of this age group loves to keep track of movies that interest them and plan at least three days ahead, 26% prefer going with the flow and making spontaneous plans.

When it comes to deciding what to watch, viewers plan their movie outing based on the storyline of a film followed by big releases, cast, director, reviews and the trailer. 43% of respondents in Mumbai said the story line drives their choice, while 38% in Delhi said they went based on reviews and ratings, and 32% in Bengaluru gave priority to the director. About 74% viewers said they consider finding the seat of their choice and planning ahead to secure it paramount to the movie experience. Further, Gen X prefers to get their share of movie recommendations from friends and family and 38% of all viewers said they like going to the movies with friends. On the other hand, 30% respondents from Mumbai and Bengaluru each prefer watching a film in the theatre with their spouse, partner or date. Only 1% like watching movies with a co-worker.

Notwithstanding the adoption of OTT platforms that stream films weeks after theatrical release, there is still draw for ‘first-day, first-show’, with 35% Gen Z preferring it. Around 74% viewers said they prefer the theatrical experience for the immersive larger screen and high-quality audio, and 40% see value in premium formats such as IMAX, 4DX, Director’s Cut, Insignia and others. 92% respondents who have experienced an immersive format in premium theatres, have chosen so, if it were a big-budget film with special effects, or an action movie, science fiction and fantasy films or those made in 3D and 4D formats.

Pointing to the pan-India success of many films primarily made in southern languages, such as RRR and Pushpa-The Rise: Part One, 35% believe language is no bar for the out-of-home movie experience and it is the content that matters.

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Updated: 12 Oct 2023, 06:00 AM IST

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