Bollywood at inflection point with low ratings, lack of single theatres, rise of OTT

The Hindi film industry aka Bollywood, after decades of storytelling, seems to be at an inflection point unlike any other disruption it has faced before.

The average rating of 43 Hindi movies since January 2021 was just 5.9, way below the 7.3 rating of 18 Hindi dubbed movies. A simple regression exercise indicates that an extra one point IMDB rating leads to Rs 17 crore more collections, according to a report by State Bank of India’s Economic Research Department.

There has been a decline in single screen theatres and films are now released in multiplex audiences. At a multiplex, the ticket cost is three to four times more than single screen theatres. The costly ticket prices are also due to the high entertainment tax for Hindi movies.

Interestingly, 62 per cent of the single screen theatres are in South India, with North India having a share of only 16 per cent followed by West with 10 per cent of all single screen cinema halls. This could also be the reason why South Indian movies (in local area) are generating more revenues than Bollywood movies recently, the report said.

The demographic profile across states may be impacting moviegoers. Online platforms come up with different genres like action, horror, drama, thriller, and comedy. Millennials use more of these platforms to watch genres they prefer the most. South Indian states have higher share of elderly people compared to North Indian States who would still prefer watching movies on big screen in theatres than on OTT platforms.

The rise in OTT is expected to eat into cinemas viewers and profits, as more than 50 per cent of the people use OTTs more than 5 hours in a month, according to a report by the State Bank of India’s Economic Research Department.

Also options like Smart TV, Chromecast coming into the picture have impacted the traditional mode of entertainment the most. These developments have helped to bring movie theatre experience at home, with seemingly unlimited choices spoiling the viewers, the report said.

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