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Movie-going Indian audience down 16% from pre-pandemic times

Nearly 12.2 crore consumers are estimated to have watched at least one movie in January-December 2022. But this was nearly 16 per cent lower than in pre-pandemic times.

According to a report released by media analytics firm Ormax Media, “India has 12.2 crore theatre-goers, i.e., those who watched at least one film in a theatre in the last 12 months (January-December 2022). The corresponding number was 14.6 crore in the January-March 2020 period, i.e., just before the onset of the pandemic. Hence, the Indian film industry has lost an estimated 2.4 crore audience to the pandemic, which they will hope to rebuild in 2023.”

An average Indian movie-goer watches films in 1.5 languages in a theatre, it added.

Breaking down India’s theatrical universe, the report noted that while Hindi is the most-watched language, with a 5.8 crore audience, the Hindi theatre-going universe has shrunk by 21.5 per cent vis-à-vis pre-pandemic times.

Shahrukh Khan Fans Club members take selfies outside a theatre during the first day first show of Bollywood movie Pathaan, in Guwahati, on January 25, 2023.
Pathaan continues to go strong at the box office

Stable growth for South Indian films
In contrast, the audience for most South Indian languages was seen to have either been stable or clocked growth. Kannada films moviegoers’ base saw the highest growth of 25 per cent to 1.45 crore from 1.16 crore. Tamil films’ movie-goers base was stable at 28.2 crore, while Telugu films’ movie-goers declined by 7.8 per cent to 28 crore.

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

The report, based on research conducted in January 2023 among 15,000 Indian audiences across urban and rural India, is India’s only big-scale audience research with the objective of sizing India’s theatre-goers’ market. The Hindu BusinessLine

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