The industry witnessed a strong & steady comeback: Inox Leisure Ltd.’s Puneet Gupta

The industry witnessed a strong & steady comeback: Inox Leisure Ltd.’s Puneet Gupta

Gupta sheds light on how Inox performed in the year 2022.


Mumbai: The year 2022 has been a roller coaster ride for the film industry when it comes to hits and flops. Post covid pandemic lockdown theatres were opened and witnessed steady growth in 2022, with a good response to Bollywood, Hollywood, and regional movies.

Inox has 169 multiplexes spanning 720 screens across 74 cities. Inox recently launched Megaplex, a massive experience-driven entertainment destination at Palassio Mall in Lucknow and Inorbit Mall in Malad, Mumbai.

In a conversation with, Inox Leisure Ltd. corporate communications & marketing AVP Puneet Gupta discussed how the year 2022 went for Inox.

Gupta has an overall work experience of 18+ years with organisations like Bharti Airtel Ltd., Market City Resources, & Jet Airways.

At Inox, Gupta leads the PR & marketing responsibilities for the company and has led numerous brand and PR campaigns aimed at strengthening brand Inox’s recall and affinity among the masses. He has redrawn the marketing strategy at Inox, which revolved around technology, luxury & lifestyle, food & beverage, media & entertainment, and sports, besides innovations in movie promotions. Gupta, at 40, is fond of road trips, shopping, and eating out.

Edited Excerpt:

On the year 2022

Cinema, in its century-long journey, has stomped over numerous challenges while redefining their propositions. 2022 will be remembered as yet another such milestone, when the industry not only defied a massive upheaval that called the industry's existence into question but also staged a comeback. The year 2022 has had its fair share of brilliance in terms of content, creativity, and performance, which pushed the business measures closer to the pre-covid levels. The cinema exhibition industry has been witnessing robust growth in our country, thanks to the never-ending love for cinemas. Overall, the entertainment industry explored numerous eye-catching trends, and the year can be described as a test of the industry's smarts and agility.

On what worked in 2022

Content has always been and will remain the driving factor for the business in any year. What makes the industry’s performance worth appreciating is how it recovered steadily post-pandemic, with every movie playing a part. While the reopening of cinemas was ushered in by the release of KGF 2 and Gangubai Kathiawadi, the release of The Kashmir Files and RRR ensured that crowds visited the cinemas at full strength. Bhool Bulaiyaa 2 became the much-needed fulcrum, and ultimately, the country was overawed with the storytelling of Kantara and the suspense of Drishyam 2. The roles of Top Gun: Maverick, Batman, Black Adam, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness were significant too. Finally, Avatar: The Way of Water was given a stupendous reception by the crowds, ensuring a fitting end to the year 2022.

On the footfall

The footfall trends have been extremely inspiring and indicate that the country’s passionate fondness for cinemas is intact, despite the pandemic. Once the content supply chain returns to normalcy in terms of the production cycle, the industry will witness its usual optimism and growth trends.

On the pricing

We will continue to price ourselves according to the content quality, time of the day, day of the week, paying propensity, and other cost parameters.

On Avatar 2

Avatar 2 has surpassed our expectations and performed phenomenally well in theaters. With its production quality, the movie has already enthralled millions.

On learnings from 2022

We have always believed that in the post-pandemic era, consumers would rely on brands they trusted. The year 2022 was a true testimony to this belief, as we enjoyed the support of the trust and faith that we had built over the years. We couldn’t have asked for more in the 20th year of our existence.

On expectations in 2023

We expect great consistency in the business going forward, thanks to a fascinating content lineup in 2023. There are some massive tentpoles like Cirkus, Pathan, Tehran, Shehzada, Maidaan, Selfiee, Pippa, Bholaa, and Bawaal, etc. in the immediate six months from now, besides a slew of content-driven, small-budget movies that might just spring a surprise. On the English front, we have movies like Kraven the Hunter, Ant-Man and The Wasp—Quantumania, Dungeons and Dragons, and Shazam: Fury of the Gods. Starting from Dhamaka (Telugu), Vedha (Kannada), Ved (Marathi), Thunivu (Tamil), and Alone (Malayalam), movies from other Indian languages are also going to provide a boost to BO collections. There are plenty of movies in Marathi, Punjabi, and Gujarati that would keep the cash registers ticking at a healthy rate.

While the content plays its part, we will continue to innovate and focus on our re-engineered approach to our F&B business, with the addition of more F&B concepts and menu choices.

Our innovation strategy would be driven by our unique brand partnerships and alternate content screening. The response to the Fifa World Cup and the ICC T20 World Cup has been nothing short of inspiring, and we will continue to strengthen our sports offering.

On the 270-degree theatre in Malad

We were the first in the industry to introduce 270-degree projection technology in India, called ScreenX. ScreenX technology offers an unparalleled 270-degree cinema viewing experience on three walls of the theatre. Audiences can see select scenes of their favourite movies expand to the left and right walls of the theatre, promising an immersive experience. The action sequences can be best experienced on the widest possible cinema screens, taking visuals to viewers’ peripheral vision and making them feel like they’re part of on-screen events. This new format has opened up new avenues for the viewer's experiences, and it has left the audience breathless since its debut. We have received a phenomenal response from the audience about their experience with ScreenX at Malad.