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Evolving Trends For An Enhanced Cinematic Experience

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Evolving Trends For An Enhanced Cinematic Experience

Gautam Dutta, CEO, PVR Cinemas, 0

Gautam works on advancing the company's mission and objectives, building future leadership within the organization, promoting revenue & profitability, technological innovation and growth as an organization.

The Indian cinema industry has mapped a significant journey since its inception in 1913 with a silent feature film. It has evolved stupendously over the years - vis-à-vis content, delivery mechanism and emerging technologies, which has redefined the entire movie watching experience. Cinema watching historically has always been associated with a social and ecstatic experience. However, the new age online streaming services have introduced a `lone watching culture'. Industry players have thereby, focused on overhauling the cinema experience through innovations, technology and efficient implementation, offering higher standards of enhanced movie watching.

The media and entertainment industry signals at a high growth rate due to an increase in disposable in-come and change in lifestyle. Industry players are now tap-ping into the regional markets, which hold significant growth potential. According to the reports of IBEF, the Indian entertainment and media industry is expected to grow at a CAGR of 13.10 percent. It is anticipated to reach Rs. 2660.20 billion by 2023. The robust demand is owing to the socioeconomic factors across the Indian market, signals at the scope of enormous growth of the film exhibition industry currently under-screened at eight screens per million population as compared to US at 125, UK at 60 and China at 16. Movie theatre companies are now focusing on infrastructural development and innovation to offer movie patrons an overall experience, beyond only content making theatres to a one-stop entertainment destination.

In the past few years, we have witnessed a surge in multiplexes staging multiple shows, diverse screen formats, enhanced audio quality in addition to aesthetics, comfort, hygiene and safety conditions to the patrons of cinema. The film exhibition industry has witnessed a number of technological disruptions, which has enhanced the cinematic experience manifold. The new age innovative solutions have paved the way to make cinema theatres offer `experience' over only `convenience'. It is crucial to acknowledge consumer preferences have evolved. There-fore, it is invariable to innovate to live up to their expectations constantly. Technology has been the key differentiator in making cinema theatres revamp its services and offer beyond only screens to Friday releases.
Five new trends leading to enhanced movie watching experience are:
• Screen Formats: New screen formats have been introduced to offer enigmatic movie experience through extra-large screens and immersive 3D experience. The large format screens, Immersive Sound and Cinema (IMAX) technology, RGB Laser projection systems etc have over-hauled movie-watching experience in India. IMAX technology entails a massive screen, custom surround-sound system, and bigger-than-usual 3D glasses, making patrons feel the actions in the cinema. It is important for industry players to meet global standards to ensure the segment develops. The reach of IMAX content has evolved beyond Hollywood to Bollywood with movies such as Bahubali & Thugs of Hindostan being released in IMAX format.

• 4DX Technology: 4DX screen format has induced an experiential quotient, while watching a cinema. 4DX format, introduced by PVR in India through its sensory technology enables viewers to feel breathe-taking special effects and elements of cinema like wind, fog, lightening and many others. This has also opened more avenues for movie makers to explore content with the superior quality of VFX.

• Digital Cinemas: Digital cinemas refer to production, delivery and projection of motion pictures in theatres using digital technology such as hard discs, satellites or other electronic transmissions. Digital format offers superior movie viewing experience but to better picture quality and clarity. Also, as majority sound systems have inbuilt digital Dolby, the sound quality is better. Additionally, it offers higher cost efficiency as it evades further investments in projectors/in prints.

• Inclusive Cinema Viewing: India in comparison to other developed economies lags, concerning infrastructural growth of the cinema exhibition industry. Until a few years back, it was mostly an unorganised sector which stalled holistic infrastructural development. However, there are brands now that are focusing on making cinema viewing inclusive through innovation. PVR has introduced Accessible Cinema theatres; such facilities are already prevalent in the US Audience in today's age are much aware. Being industry players, it is poignant to address their needs and offer a broader choice to them.

• Consumer-Centric Approach: Multiplexes today, focus more on consumer experience. The cinema theatres are designed to offer a holistic experience with a variety of F&B services, utmost convenience through digital services like mobile apps. Brands have designed loyalty programs, installed air purification systems with an aim to delight the patrons with unique and customised offerings.

It is integral to have a profound understanding of the market and every aspect of cinema viewing, to ensure the right engineering of technological innovations. Indian moviegoers have been ever evolving and appreciative of the new formats being introduced in the movie exhibition space. To be able to keep the momentum of business growth it is necessary to keep reinventing and pushing the envelope.

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