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PVR Inox introduces ad-free films amid decreasing theatre footfalls

PVR Inox, one of the leading multiplex chains, has introduced a new product to address the decline in footfalls in cinemas by offering ad-free movies, akin to streaming platforms.

PVR INOX logs Rs 81.6-cr net loss

PVR Inox introduces ad-free films amid decreasing theatre foot falls

PVR Inox, one of the leading multiplex chains, has introduced a new product to address the decline in footfalls in cinemas by offering ad-free movies, akin to streaming platforms.

Over the last three months, the cinema industry has been affected by weak box office collections, with even major Bollywood films delivering sub-par performances.

To counter this trend, PVR Inox has reduced the length of ads before a movie begins on the big screen from 35 minutes to just 10 minutes. This reduction in time spent on ads will allow the addition of extra shows during the day, resulting in additional footfalls, according to Renaud Palliere, Chief of The Luxury Collection and Innovation at PVR INOX Limited. He stated that the time saved on each show will create space for another show during the day, leading to increased footfalls. The additional admissions are expected to boost food and beverage revenue.

Under this new offering, audiences will not be subjected to commercials, even during intervals. Instead, they will only see trailers of upcoming movies.

Palliere commented, "The advertising revenue loss will be compensated with the additional footfalls by having one more show. Admissions generate ticket sales as well as F&B sales."

In the 10-minute slot before the start of the film, only movie trailers will be shown. However, brands like Pepsi and Coke will still be featured during this time. "In the 10 minutes of content shown before the start of the film, there will be largely movie trailers. This is to focus on our products for which consumers are coming to cinemas. But brands like Pepsi and Coke we are keeping on the screen within the 10 minutes," added Palliere.

The new product has been launched across seven luxury properties of the multiplex chain in Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, among others, effective from April 1. Palliere added, "In this segment (premium screen) people are time conscious. Also, a lot of these ads were countrywide and were not focused towards that particular audience."

The initial feedback for ad-free movies is showing a higher recall value, according to Palliere. Ad-free content is available in PVR Inox's premium formats like Director's Cut and Insignia.

"We will soon be opening (ad-free movies) in Pune and very soon it will follow in other premium screens. Within the next few months, we are looking at extending beyond the current batch," said Palliere, who is looking to increase the share of premium screens in the total screen portfolio of PVR Inox.

Premium screens make up 15 percent of the total 1,741 screens across PVR Inox properties. Palliere expects the share to go up to 20 percent in less than 24 months.

He added that the premium formats have not been as affected as regular screens due to the weak content performance of films from the beginning of 2024.

"While the company has launched movies without commercial breaks after getting feedback from customers, Palliere said that the expectation of increasing frequency of visits to theatres will help in improving footfalls which remains 25-30 percent lower versus pre-Covid levels across India's theatres.

"From a luxury point of view, we are not seeing as much impact of the tepid lineup as the rest of the screens because the experience goes beyond movie watching. Luxury in many ways has shown resilience in terms of occupancy which is not fully impacted by performance of movies. However, this (ad-free movies) will help improve admissions. Occupancy in premium format is in the high 20 percent to low 30 percent but it is not yet back to pre-Covid levels when it was in mid 30s to high 30s (percent). This is because of volatility in content and box office earnings," Palliere said.

The move aims to enhance the cinema experience for the audience, allowing them to enjoy their favorite movies without interruption.

Dwaipayan Bhattacharjee
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