Mumbai: The July-September quarter two 2023 fiscal for PVR was affected mainly because of the poor performance of Hindi movies. Making matters worse was the fact that Hollywood was also disappointed. As a result, it slipped back into a loss of Rs 71.23 crore compared with a consolidated net profit of Rs 53.38 crore in the first quarter of the fiscal ending June 2022. However, the loss was 53 per cent less than the Rs 153.13 crore for the second quarter of the previous fiscal, which had been affected by covid. Admissions and the average ticket price during the second 2023 fiscal quarter were impacted by the weak performance of Bollywood and Hollywood movies.
Its revenue from operations has fallen from Rs 981.40 crore in the first quarter of the fiscal to Rs 686.72 crore in the second quarter. But it is a big improvement from the revenue of Rs 120.32 crore in the second quarter of the previous covid-impacted fiscal.
The quarter, PVR noted, was marked by the continued underperformance of Bollywood movies. With the exception of ‘Brahmastra Part One : Shiva, most of the other big budget Bollywood movies performed below expectations, like Laal Singh Chaddha, Raksha Bandhan, and Liger. Brahmastra Part One : Shiva performed exceedingly well at the box office and emerged as the highest grossing Hindi film post-pandemic for PVR, with a net box office contribution of 19 per cent. The underperformance of Hindi films could be attributed to a number of factors, including films released prior to and during the pandemic that did not resonate well with current consumer tastes; content quality driving performance as opposed to star presence; and negative social media sentiments against certain Bollywood movies and stars.
In Hollywood, the quarter ending September 2022 was the weakest globally in almost two decades, both in terms of the number of movies released and their box office collections. Box office collections for Hollywood movies for PVR dropped by a huge 47 per cent in Q2 FY’23 as compared to Q2 FY’20. Thor: Love and Thunder was the only big tentpole that performed well at the box office as compared to successful tentpoles like The Lion King, Spiderman : Far Away From Home, and Fast and Furious: Hobbs & Shaw in Q2 FY’20.
If there was a silver lining, it was regional. For PVR, the box office contribution of regional movies increased nicely from 28 per cent in Q2 FY’20 to 44 per cent in Q2 FY’23. Movies like Sita Ramam, Kartikeya 2, Thiruchitrambalam, Rocketry, and Vikrant Rona performed well during the quarter ended September 2022.
The multiplex exhibition industry on 23 September celebrated "National Cinema Day." This was envisaged as an industry-wide initiative to welcome moviegoers back to theatres. More than 11 multiplex chains with 4,000+ screens across India participated in this initiative. Customers were offered movie tickets at Rs 75 and discounts on F&B products. PVR welcomed 6.5 lakh guests on this day, which proved to be the busiest day for it in 2022 and the second highest attended day till date with an occupancy of 80 per cent. PVR added that it is also implementing other initiatives to drive admissions back to cinemas.
PVR added that the current third quarter has started off on a great note with strong responses received to new releases like Ponniyin Selvan – Part 1, Vikram Vedha and Kantara. The content pipeline over the next three months looks extremely promising. It has Bollywood movies that are up for release, like Ram Setu, Cirkus, Thank God, Drishyam 2, Bhediya, Kisi ka Bhai Kisi ki Jaan, Pathan, etc. From Hollywood, it is hoped for a better performance given the tentpoles like Black Adam, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, and Avatar: The Way of Water. From the regional genre, there are Shaakuntalam, Vaathi, Kushi, Honeymoon, Padavettu, etc. lined up for release.
PVR has opened 14 screens across three cinemas in the last quarter (24 screens across five cinemas in H1 FY’23) and is fast ramping up its capex plan to open a total of 110-125 new screens by the end of the current fiscal year.
The announced merger with Inox Leisure, it said, is progressing well. Both the companies have received their respective shareholders and secured creditors' approval for the proposed scheme of amalgamation. We expect that the NCLT process will be completed in 3–4 months.
PVR chairman & MD Ajay Bijli said, "We remain focused on driving admissions back to our cinemas. India’s love for movies was well demonstrated by the massive success of the ‘National Cinema Day’. I am confident of a full recovery in the business, driven by the robust content lineup for this year and the various initiatives that we are implementing to rekindle the cinema-going habit amongst our loyal patrons. As we celebrate the silver jubilee for PVR this year, we are extremely optimistic that we will continue to set and exceed even greater benchmarks in the years to come."
PVR's total income rose to Rs 703.13 crore, compared with Rs 275.21 crore in the same quarter of the previous fiscal. The Ebitda for the quarter was Rs 170 crore, almost double the Rs 86.8 crore for the same quarter in the 2022 fiscal. Its total expenses rose to Rs 813.33 crore, compared with Rs 460.68 crore in the same quarter in the previous fiscal.