Leading cinema chain PVR INOX on Saturday announced a new initiative ‘PVR INOX Passport’, a first of its kind movie subscription pass aimed at “irrigating the film industry” and motivating the consumers to frequently visit theatres.
As per the monthly subscription pass, which will be available from October 16, cinema goers will be able to watch up to 10 movies per month for just Rs. 699. The offer will be applicable from Monday to Thursday, and excludes premium offerings like IMAX, Gold, LUXE and Director’s Cut.
Gautam Dutta, co-CEO of PVR INOX, said the company has been engaging with the customer base to know more about their movie watching habits.
“There is a sentiment, the consumers are saying that we love the movie experience and we love to come out to a cinema. But we can’t get it all. We keep slotting what are the event films and what are the movies that can be consumed on TV, iPad and mobile.
“So in their mind, Pathaan, Jawan, Salaar, Leo, are some of the big cinema films. And then there are certain films that they really want to watch but don’t mind waiting for them a little longer… So when we probed and said, ‘why can’t you come to a cinema hall every week?’ They said it becomes expensive,” Dutta told PTI.
Such a trend is not healthy for the film industry, especially for the mid-level and smaller budget films, believes Dutta.
“The events films are becoming bigger and bigger and bigger. The smaller midsize films are getting squeezed out. So we needed to actually have a kind of a product that worked with consumer sentiment to get them back into the cinema, a lot more and which will propel better smaller films because we have close to about 13 to 16 films, which get released every week,” he added.
PVR INOX first addressed the consumers’ concern regarding the food and beverages, slashing their prices by 40 percent recently.
The film exhibitor also introduced food combos starting from Rs. 99 from Monday to Thursday between 9am and 6pm, while on weekends it offered bottomless popcorn with “unlimited refills”.
The movie subscription plan is another step that will have a positive impact, Dutta said.
“The fact is we wanted to truly irrigate the market and get people who are coming to us once, twice or thrice in a month… More films will get consumed. More films will get produced. A larger audience will get created. And after some time, you will create this habit of consumers coming back to the cinema. So it’s really a momentum shifter, not just a price promotion.” Dutta also decoded the target audience of the movie subscription offer, saying it is aimed at wooing “students, housewives, and senior citizens”.
“It’s not (for) the time-poor and cash-rich people. It’s the other way around. Time-rich and cash-poor are my target audience,” he said.
According to the company, PVR INOX Passport can be bought for a minimum subscription period of three months from the cinema chain’s app or website.
“For redeeming, users will have to choose a Passport coupon as a payment option at the time of transaction check out. In case of a transaction for multiple tickets, one ticket can be redeemed using a Passport coupon and the rest can be paid for, through any other regular mode of payment.
“The Passport is a non-transferrable subscription, and will have to be availed by a single user, who will have to show a Government identity proof at the time of checking in to the cinema,” the company said.