Companies

‘Avatar has shown the way for Hollywood movies in India'

Meenakshi Verma Ambwani New Delhi | Updated on November 15, 2017

Mr Pramod Arora, Group President and CEO, PVR.

Profitability depends on the twin aspects of cost and revenues. At times, an incremental cost can bring in large incremental revenues.

A city like Bangalore has the potential to support 100 screens, says Mr Pramod Arora, Group President and Chief Executive Officer, PVR. The multiplex chain, which has 166 screens spread over 22 cities, is now looking southwards seriously. Excerpts:

How does the large format multiplex concept fit into PVR's expansion strategy?

We are following the cluster approach in key locations. A national player needs to have a dominant presence in the key regions to leverage the benefits of being a large player. For instance, a city like Bangalore has the potential to support 100 screens in the long run. We plan to have about 45 screens in the region which will help us have a significant presence. From a Director's Cut to a PVR Talkies, we can offer different value propositions for different kinds of consumers in that cluster.

Have the multiplexes been able to raise ticket prices in sync with the growing costs?

There is an elastic limit beyond which if a ticket price is increased, occupancies in cinemas begin to fall. But the positive trend is that despite the growth in number of screens, the occupancy levels have not dipped. Occupancy levels are, in fact, growing. Cities like Nanded, Aurangabad and Latur — wherever we have gone, people are coming in big numbers.

Has Hollywood contributed to the multiplex growth industry?

In cities such as Allahabad or Patna, consumers increasingly want to watch Hollywood movies. A movie like Avatar has shown what a tent-pole Hollywood movie can do in India. Once, movie goers in India start accepting dubbed or subtitled content in larger numbers, Hollywood movies would find more viewers even in smaller towns and cities. In Thailand, nearly 50 per cent of the box office collections come from subtitled and dubbed versions.

Since movies do not behave like products, and even hyped movies can bomb, how do multiplex players like you manage to ensure profitability?

Profitability depends on the twin aspects of cost and revenues. At times, an incremental cost can bring in large incremental revenues. For instance, we are doing the food and beverages on our own rather than outsourcing it, which has helped improve our topline and bottomline. Programming of movies plays a key role. We take decisions based on profitability-based roster system. Not all movies need to have morning shows. If the number of staffers is higher than patrons, then a multiplex is losing money on that show. Also, not all movies work in all regions. So we apply some reasonable amount of science to strategise on the number of shows for a movie in a particular region besides other initiatives.

>meenakshi.v@thehindu.co.in

Published on April 26, 2012

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