Cinema going has increased among urban Indians over the past year
September 26th, 2023, Bhawna Singh

Cinema going has increased among urban Indians over the past year

Latest data from YouGov Survey reveals that cinema going has increased since last year with a third of urban Indians (32%) agreeing with the statement, “My frequency of going to the cinema/ theatre has increased”, up from 26% who said this last year.

Among the different age groups, GenZ are most likely to say that their cinema going frequency has increased (at 44%).

In addition to this, the data shows that almost a quarter of urban Indians (23%) claim they have gone to a theatre to watch a newly released film in the past six months. The percent who said this increased from 16% who said this last year.

Even though there is an increase, OTT or streaming platforms remain the most common mode of catching new releases, but this practice has seen a decline, from 49% to 42% over this period.

An overview of people’s cinema viewing habits shows that one in eight urban Indians (12%) said they go to a theatre to watch a film at least once a week, 9% do so once a fortnight. A quarter visit a theatre at least once a month (24%), and nearly half visit it once every 2-3 months or longer than that.

Preference for Bollywood films has increased slightly over the past year (from 61% in 2022 to 66% in 2023) but liking for Hollywood and regional South Indian films has declined (to 41% and 40%, respectively).

A multiplex theatre is the most preferred theatre option to watch a film, followed by single screen theatres and luxury theatres. Interestingly, single screen theatres are more popular among GenZ as compared to the rest. Popularity of single screen theatres is also more prevalent in South India whereas multiplex are more popular venues in West India.

When asked about the reason for increased visits to the theatre, the largest proportion of people said they have generally started seeing more films than before (41%), closely followed by the availability of more films of interest (40%).

Many missed the overall experience of visiting a theatre and hence have started going out more in a post-pandemic world (37%).

When it comes to the different genres of films, comedy is the top genre for urban Indians (67%), followed by action (53%) and thriller (51%). Although comedy is enjoyed more on OTT platforms (53%), action is more widely celebrated in a theatre (45%). The recent success of blockbuster films like Pathaan and Jawaan is a testament to this.

Finally, the story of the film is the top factor that encourages people to step out and watch a film in a theatre (39%), followed by recommendation from friends and family (35%), the cast and genre of the film (34% each).

Commenting on this, Deepa Bhatia, General Manager, YouGov India, said, “Although cinema going frequency has increased over the past year, the rising popularity of streaming platforms remains a challenge. It is important for brands to understand the changing cinema habits and preferences of urban Indians to adapt their marketing and distribution strategies and deliver the desired experience to consumers.”

Methodology: YouGov Surveys: Serviced provides quick survey results from nationally representative or targeted audiences in multiple markets. This data is based on a survey of adults aged 18+ years in India with a sample size of 1001 respondents. The survey was conducted online in September 2023 and the earlier survey was done in September 2022. Learn more about YouGov Surveys: Serviced.