ARE WE FALLING OUT OF LOVE WITH GOING TO MOVIES?
BY- HASTI DOSHI
It is a very general question which arrives in mind looking at today’s changing trends towards cinema; if we are not watching cinema then what are those other aspects we are rolling down towards? There are three big reasons for which nowadays going to theatres has comparatively decreased.
- Influence of digitally available content on movie going habits
- Ticket pricing
- Spoilt for choices
These are broader concepts which are influencing our movie watching habits. Focusing on the digital content, which we are more inclined to nowadays, is rapidly increasing. For people who say what is digital content- it is the data we consume online through numerous applications on phone and various OTT. Now everything we watch on television is available on your phones and laptops. It is just one click away and at our own comforts. Earlier consuming data online was expensive due to the internet packs which used to charge more and internet data was lesser, but Jio has changed the entire business and now, along with it Airtel, Vodafone and all other companies are ready to give more amount of data at same prices. This does bring a lot of change in people’s habits. Due to this advantage available, even the consumption of WiFi has reduced, as ample of data is been provided in cell phones. There are various portals where all the TV series, movies, cartoons and music is available. When everything is just one click away on your phone it becomes very difficult to bring people to theatres to watch film. Today, there is Jio library where you can watch free movies, shows, etc. There is Balahi ALT, Voot, Hotstar and various other Indian online streaming platforms along with overseas which are Amazon and most popular Netflix. People in urban areas who are likely to buy around 500 rupees ticket to watch a film even they are now reluctant to come out to theatres because they are now spoiled for choices. Our editor at Super Cinema; Amul Vikas Mohan also consumes online streaming platforms on high scale, but still prefers and loves seeing films on the big screen. “It’s more fun and a better experience to watch the films on the big screen, if you ask me.”
Looking at the statistics of 2016 there were 218 Hindi films released out of which only 15 films made profit; Which proves that there were only 15 films which audience have enjoyed and went to watch and the trend has just sort of continued in 2017 too; So comparing those 200 films with the 5000 TV shows and films available online at the minimal cost. Netflix is considered to be the most expensive streaming platforms yet more streamed.
But at the same time also the movie tickets are expensive. We can’t blame it all on digital influence, because today in a multiplex we get 500 rupees ticket which comes along with the additional cost of parking, food and traveling and end up spending 2000 rupees. Whereas, being the most expensive Netflix can give unlimited TV shows and films at 500 for a month. You don’t get the same comfort at theatres which you get at home where you are not committed for three hours at the same place to watch a film which later you might not enjoy. Earlier, people used to go to theatres to enjoy the air conditioned room but that doesn’t apply anymore because that facilities are now available everywhere. So for people who don’t choose to go to cinema would either go to a club or restaurant in their free time. Especially when films lately aren’t going well at cinemas, it gets more difficult to convince audience to get into theatres.
So, main key area is digital available content which is influencing our movie going habits along with that we are also spoilt for choices. So people don’t care and think why to go and watch a film when everything is available online. As far as it is not a film like ‘Bahubali’ where you can see larger than life scenes on the screen and great VFX and until it’s not fun and don’t engage people to go and watch why would they opt to take efforts to go for a film in cinemas. Whereas, they can sit home relax pause a film attend the calls, finish their work and get back to it wherever they feel (which I feel isn’t the right way of seeing a film. Too many interruptions just ruins the experience. But hey, I didn’t say seeing films at homes don’t have a downside.) This is why we say that people are spoilt for choice. People can disregard this article saying that it is a metro problem but actually I would say it isn’t, you need a foresight to see that after five years it will be a PAN India problem. Because within two to three years even the smallest town in India would be enjoying the internet boons and they too would sit home and watch films. Out of 2 billion people in India only 10% population goes to watch a film and even if that number reduces it’s going to be trouble for the filmmakers soon. This article is not saying that stop going to cinemas and watch content online, but to realise the changing trends and understand the changes needed in content of the films to make people fall in love with cinema again.