Net loss of India's top multiplex chain PVR narrowed 53% year-on-year to ₹71.23 crore for the quarter ended September 2022 compared with ₹153.13 crore in the same period last year.

The company's revenue from operations rose to ₹686.72 crore during the second quarter, recording a fivefold jump from ₹120 crore in the corresponding quarter last year.

Admissions and average ticket price during the quarter were impacted by the weak performance of Bollywood and Hollywood movies, PVR says in a stock exchange filing.

The quarter was marked by the continued underperformance of Bollywood movies, the multiplex chain says. With the exception of 'Brahmastra Part One: Shiva', most of the other big budget movies performed below expectations like 'Laal Singh Chaddha', 'Raksha Bandhan', 'Liger', it adds.

The underperformance of Hindi films could be attributed to a variety of factors like films released were conceived before and during the pandemic not resonating well with current consumer tastes, quality of content driving performance as compared to star presence and negative social media against certain Bollywood movies and stars, says PVR.

In Hollywood, the quarter ended September was the weakest globally in almost two decades both in terms of the number of movies released and their box office collections. Box office collection for Hollywood movies for PVR dropped 47% in the second quarter as compared to Q2 FY20.

However, regional movies continued their robust performance. For PVR, the box office contribution of regional movies increased from 28% in Q2 FY20 to 44% in Q2 FY23.

The movie exhibitor said its proposed merger with INOX Leisure is progressing well. Both the companies have received their respective shareholders and secured creditors approval for the proposed scheme of amalgamation. The company expects the NCLT process to complete in the next three-four months. The proposed merger will create a network of over 1,500 screens across 109 cities in India.

"I am confident of full recovery in the business driven by the robust content lineup for this year and the various initiatives that we are implementing to rekindle the cinema going habit amongst our loyal patrons," says Ajay Bijli, chairman and managing director of PVR.

Multiplexes are set to triple their revenue this fiscal, propped by the low-base effect of last fiscal and more people queuing up to watch movies after the pandemic-forced hiatus, according to rating agency CRISIL.

The sharp recovery in occupancy coupled with a troika of factors — increased average ticket prices, higher spend per head on food & beverages (F&B) and addition of screens — are expected to script the growth story, the ratings agency says.

While there have been headwinds in the past two months stemming from social media outrage and boycott calls, the scene may change in the coming months aided by the festive season and a strong content pipeline, says Naveen Vaidyanathan, director at CRISIL, adding that this should improve occupancy to around 30% this fiscal from 16% in the last.

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