In terms of admissions, India is currently the biggest cinema market in the world. Admissions are further expected to grow on a year on year basis allowing India to retain its number one position till 2020. Despite being the biggest market in terms of admissions, India is not amongst the top cinema markets in terms of box office collections. This is explained by the fact that the average ticket price is currently below USD 1 and is expected to be so until 2020. However, with a growing middle class and increasing levels of disposable income there is substantial scope for revenue growth. Besides, for cinema production companies, other traditional sources viz theatrical, satellite, merchandising, music and recent sources such as digital rights/ non-linear sources of revenues, are also set to grow.
The thousands of single-screen cinemas that have traditionally dominated the Indian market are beginning to disappear as a result of the multiplex boom. Even then, in terms of multiplexes, given the population of the country and appetite for cinema – going, the market remains underserved. Therefore, there is enormous scope for investment into film exhibition infrastructure. In terms of content, Bollywood dominates the sector, whereas international movies struggle to make impression. Besides, local content is also produced in other regional languages which contributes to the market.
Given the size of the market, Indian cinema industry has always been a point of interest for global players. However, this interest did not converge into films being produced in India on account of arrays of approvals required by foreign producers to shoot films in India. In order to promote India as a destination for foreign production houses, ‘film facilitation office’ was set up by the government to facilitate single window clearance for film makers, promote India as a destination for filming and film tourism. To promote joint productions, co-production agreements have been signed with several countries like Italy, Germany, Brazil, UK, France, New Zealand, Poland, Spain, Canada, China, Korea while agreements with countries like Australia are in the pipeline.
Piracy remains an issue globally and Indian cinema industry is no different. Industry is now firming up to fight against piracy in collaboration with the government, but results are awaited.
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