As Brahmastra and regional films draw crowds, PVR hopes for festive lift in footfalls | The Financial Express

As Brahmastra and regional films draw crowds, PVR hopes for festive lift in footfalls

After a series of duds (Lal Singh Chadda, Samshera, Samrat Prithviraj, Raksha Bandhan), the company is now banking on the festival rush to cinema halls to revive fortunes.

As Brahmastra and regional films draw crowds, PVR hopes for festive lift in footfalls
Daftary said PVR Cinemas is on track to add 115-120 screens this year, with 20 screens already done and 90-odd screens slated to be completed in second half of FY23.

With Brahmastra entering the fifth week and continuing to report strong box office collections during the September 24-25 weekend, has raised expectations of a good festive season for film exhibitor PVR Cinemas.

Chandresh Daftary, regional director, west, PVR Cinemas, said PVR’s admissions have reached nearly 95% of pre-pandemic levels. Besides Brahmastra pulling crowds, especially teen viewers, regional films have also drawn audiences, with Marathi, Gujarati and Bengali films doing well, Daftary said.

After a series of duds (Lal Singh Chadda, Samshera, Samrat Prithviraj, Raksha Bandhan), the company is now banking on the festival rush to cinema halls to revive fortunes.

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The line-up starts with Saif Ali Khan, Hrithik Roshan and Radhika Apte-starrer Vikram Vedha, a remake of a Tamil film, which is set for release on September 30. The company is enthused with the advance bookings that began on Monday.

Other films it is banking on are Mani Ratnam’s Ponniyin Selvan in five languages, Goodbye, Godfather (in four languages), Thank God and Doctor G during the Dussehra-Diwali period, followed by Avataar -II during the Christmas week, Rohit Shetty’s Ranveer Singh-starrer Circus slated for a New Year release, and Shah Rukh Khan’s Pathan.

Daftary said if the content is good, people are willing to spend money, so one cannot write the medium off. The company also screened the recent India-Pakistan cricket match across 120 screens and saw close to 90% occupancy, he said.

The brick-and-mortar model is here to stay and PVR will continue with its expansion plans, he said. Daftary said PVR Cinemas is on track to add 115-120 screens this year, with 20 screens already done and 90-odd screens slated to be completed in second half of FY23.

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On Monday, PVR opened a new six-screen property in Pune to take its total tally in the country to 864 screens, 175 cinemas and 76 cities. The new PVR comes with the 403-seater Premium Extra Large (P [XL) format. The Pune P [XL] gets first-of-its-kind 4K laser projection apart from Dolby Atmos sound, Real-D 3D and a screen size of 67.88 x 37.23 ft.

The 50,000 sq ft property with 1,242 seats has come up at the Grand Highstreet Mall in Hinjewadi and takes the number of screens to 37 across six properties in the city and 143 screens in 30 properties in Maharashtra.

PVR launched the new property with the screening of Hindi films Brahmastra, Seetharaman and Chup and Marathi films Boyz and Raada. The company is expecting walk-ins of 2,000 per day at the new property.

On an average, PVR invests around Rs 3.5 to Rs 4 crore per screen. This is PVR’s 10th P [XL] property in the country after Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru, Chennai, Kolkata, Noida and Surat.

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