Home / Industry / Media /  India’s movie-going audience shrinks post covid: Report

About 12.2 crore (122 million) people in India watched at least one film in a theatre in the 12 months ended December 2022, against 14.6 crore (146 million) in the January to March 2020 period, just before the onset of the pandemic, according to a report by media consulting firm Ormax. Hence, the Indian film industry has lost an estimated 2.4 crore (24 million) audience to the pandemic, which they hope to rebuild in 2023, Ormax said.

The report titled Sizing The Cinema: 2023, is based on research conducted among 15,000 Indian audiences across urban and rural India.

The report also breaks down India’s theatrical universe by gender, age, geography and language. It reveals that while Hindi is the most-watched language, with 5.8 crore (58 million) audiences, the Hindi theatre-going universe has shrunk by 21.5% vis-à-vis pre-pandemic. In contrast, most South languages have seen stability or growth, with Kannada growing the most at 25%, from 1.16 crore to 1.45 crore. An average Indian movie-goer watches films in 1.5 languages in a theatre.

Tamil cinema, on the other hand, has seen no change with audience base stable at 28.2 million. Telugu, despite big successes such as RRR, has seen the theatrical universe shrink by 7.8%, from 30.4 million to 28 million. Hollywood has witnessed a 10.1% increase, from 22 million to 24.2 million.

“We believe that India’s theatrical universe is sizeable enough to deserve better quality of data, than what is generally available. In a diverse and multi-lingual country like ours, absence of industry data can be a limiting factor for various stakeholders, such as investors, studios, independent producers, distributors, marketers, exhibitors, and so on," Gautam Jain, partner - Ormax Media, said in a statement.

Lata Jha
Lata Jha covers media and entertainment for Mint. She focuses on the film, television, video and audio streaming businesses. She is a graduate of the Columbia School of Journalism. She can be found at the movies, when not writing about them.
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