PVR Inox will close 50 theatres in six months.
The newly merged PVR Inox entity plans to shut down approximately 50 cinema screens over the next six months. These properties are loss-making, or housed in malls which have reached the end of their life cycle with little hope of revival, the company said while announcing its quarterly results on Monday.
The firm has taken an accelerated charge of the depreciation in its books and written off the WDV (written down value) of assets.
In March last year, the boards of PVR Ltd and Inox Leisure Ltd had approved an all-stock merger of the companies to create India’s largest film exhibition entity with a network of more than 1,500 screens.
With the pandemic devastating the film exhibition business, the post-merger revenue of the two companies fell below ₹1,000 crore, the limit under which companies do not have to seek approval from the antitrust regulator. The merged entity was renamed PVR Inox Ltd effective from 20 April, 2023.
Losses at the multiplex chain widened during the March quarter to ₹333 crore from 105 crore a year earlier. The revenue from operations rose to₹1143.17 crore for the quarter under review from ₹536.17 crore in the year-ago period. The results aren’t comparable because of the merger, the company said.
The quarter witnessed an impressive start with the success of Shah Rukh Khan-starrer Pathaan in January and the continued consistent performance of Avatar: Way of Water, which had arrived in cinemas in December 2022, the company said.
However, February and March saw a dip in admissions due to lacklustre performances from Hindi films. While titles like Tu Jhoothi Main Makkar and Bhola were able to generate average box office collections, those like Selfiee and Shehzada failed to draw audiences. In the case of Hollywood releases, John Wick: Chapter 4, Antman and the Wasp: Quantumania, Shazam 2 and Creed III delivered decently at the box office, the company said.
On the other hand, regional language films such as Varisu and Thunivu in Tamil, Waltair Veerayya in Telugu, and Ved in Marathi have continued to achieve significant box office collections.