According to film trade analyst Atul Mohan, 23.52 crore cinema goers - up by 10 percent from last year - went to multiplexes, which include both national and local players.
First there were debates on carrying food inside theatres then there was hefty GST (goods and services tax) charged on movie tickets. It was undoubtedly a difficult year for theatre operators and movie goers. But despite all odds, theatrical admissions saw an uptick.
Theatrical admissions in India saw a 9-10 percent rise in 2018. The growth compares favourably to other markets, including China, where the numbers have gone down by 9 percent, or Spain where it was down 2 percent.
Some of the developed markets, like the UK and France, have seen a rise but their growth is slower than India's.
UK has seen a 7 percent rise in theatrical admissions and France has seen only a 4 per cent rise.
According to data put together by film trade analyst Atul Mohan, 23.52 crore cinema goers - up by 10 percent from last year - went to multiplexes, which include both national and local players. These admits (number of cinemagoers) generated net box office collections of Rs 3,250 crore.
"There are close to 10,000 screens in India at the moment, including single screen theatres and multiplexes. We add only about 100-150 screens a yaer, whereas in China, about 9000 screens are added every year. In spite of additions, no matter how little, our total remains almost constant because only multiplexes are expanding and single screens are shutting down. However, with more interesting films being made people are going to the theaters more often. The year 2018 has shown rise in hall admits because the content driven films brought people to the theatres," said Atul Mohan.
Most of the theaters were happy with the numbers too.
"For FY 18, PVR had total 7.61 crore admits which was about 1 per cent higher than FY 17.However in the first half of FY 19 (upto September 18) admits were 4.40 crore against 3.96crore same period last year, which is a growth of 11 per cent," said a official from PVR Cinemas.
Numbers indicate that PVR had the highest hall admits and the highest net collections to the tune of Rs 1244 cr. This was followed by Inox Cinemas with net box office collections of Rs 752 crore. The other two major multiplex chains Carnival Cinemas and Cinepolis clocked net box office revenue of Rs503 crore and Rs500 crore respectively.
GST reliefAs per the new rate slab, movie tickets upto Rs 100, which had a GST of 18 percent, has now been brought down to 12 percent. Tickets above Rs 100 and previously under the GST slab of 28 percent, will now be 18 percent. The rate cuts are expected to bring down ticket costs by at least 7 per cent to 8 per cent and push both theatrical admissions and box office collections in 2019.