Despite COVID cases rising again, 1 in 5 Indians surveyed will visit a cinema hall once or more in the next 60 days
- ● 29% citizens visited a cinema hall or a multiplex in the last 2 months
- ● Percentage of citizens who went to a cinema hall/multiplex in the last 60 days rose from 25% in March to 29% in August
Aug 11, 2022, New Delhi: There has been a steady rise in the COVID cases across the country with Delhi reporting test positivity rates of 15-17% last week. The reported cases at a national level are approximately 20,000 despite 8 in 10 with COVID symptoms not getting a RT-PCR done per LocalCircles survey and hence missing from the offically reported case data. LocalCircles estimates daily cases in India are currently between 150,000-200,000. With no restrictions on movement in public places and low adherence to COVID norms, authorities, businesses and the people are moving on to living with COVID. While new variants like BA.5 and BA.2.75 are driving the new surge and there is only limited information about their mutations, a large majority of the population has given up on masking and social distancing compliance.
In August 2020, multiplexes and cinema halls across the country were shut due to COVID and the risk of disease spreading in closed indoor spaces. While the risk of disease spread remains, as a society, most of us would rather live the moment instead of worrying about the long term consequences of COVID reinfection. Big movie releases like Laal Singh Chaddha and Raksha Bandhan are therefore planned for August 11th, i.e. day of Raksha Bandhan festival, along with several other movies in regional languages and Hollywood releases.
Since August 2020, LocalCircles has been tracking public pulse on cinema halls and giving regular inputs to the Government along with recommendations to open or close them in the interest of public safety. The LocalCircles survey released in late March had 25% of citizens visiting a cinema hall or multiplex in last 60 days and 41% were likely to visit a cinema hall in the next 60 days, which was a 3X or 200% increase from the 14% who had such plans in December 2021.
With a lot of community members now talking about movies like Laal Singh Chaddha and Raksha Bandhan despite COVID cases seeing a new surge, LocalCircles has conducted another national survey to understand how many citizens visited a cinema hall or multiplex in the last 60 days (June 10 – August 10) and how many plan to do so in the next 60 days (Aug 11 – October 10). The survey received close to 23,000 responses from citizens across 302 districts of India. 67% respondents were men while 33% respondents were women. 44% respondents were from tier 1, 33% from tier 2 and 23% were from tier 3, 4 and rural districts.
29% citizens visited a cinema hall or a multiplex in the last 60 days
The survey asked citizens, “How many times did you visit a cinema hall/multiplex to watch a movie in the last 60 days?” In response, 3% said “Went multipe times” and 26% of citizens said “Went once”.49% of citiznes said they “Did not go” and 22% of citizens said “Not applicable (don’t watch movies in multiplexes or cinema halls anyway)”. On an aggregate basis, 29% citizens visited a cinema hall or a multiplex to watch a movie in the last 60 days. This question in the survey received 11,226 responses.
Percentage of citizens who watched a film in a cinema hall/multiplex in the last 60 days has risen from 25% in March to 29% in August
A similar survey conducted in December 2021 had indicated that 14% of citizens had visited a cinema hall to watch a movie in the past 60 days. This percentage rose to 25% in March, and now stands at 29% in August 2022.
22% citizens have plans to go to cinema hall/multiplex to watch a movie in the next two months
The next question in the survey asked citizens “Do you plan to visit cinema halls/ multiplexes to watch a movie in the next 60 days?” In response, 8% said “Yes, plan to go multiple times” and 14% said “Yes, plan to go once”. 51% of citizens said they have “No plans to go”while 19% said “Not applicable (don’t watch movies in multiplexes or cinema halls anyway)”, and 8% couldn’t say. On an aggregate basis, 22% of citizens say they will go to the cinema hall or a multiplex to watch a movie in the next 60 days. This question in the survey received 11,707 responses.
Percentage of citizens who are likely to visit a cinema hall/multiplex to watch a movie in the next 60 days likely to dip by half as compared to March
Similarly, 14% of citizens were planning to visit a cinema hall per LocalCircles’ survey conducted in December 2021. This percentage rose to 41% in the March survey, and stand at 22% in August 2022. The findings suggest that the percentage of citizens who are likely to visit a cinema hall/multiplex to watch a movie in the next 60 days is likely to dip by half as compared to March. The March peak was driven by pent up demand and movies like Kashmir Files that generated a lot of public curiosity.
To summarise, 29% of citizens visited a cinema hall or a multiplex to watch a movie in the last 60 days and 22% shared plans to do so in the next 60 days. This is significant given that COVID is prevalent once again and almost every social network has news about people who are unwell. However, most people in India are back to their pre-Covid lifestyle when it comes to visiting restaurants, malls or visiting cinema halls. The survey confirms this with 22% people sharing plans of going to a cinema hall to watch a movie in the next 60 days. Whether living with COVID is the right strategy from a long-term health standpoint, only time will tell.
The survey received close to 23,000 responses from citizens across 302 districts of India. 67% respondents were men while 33% respondents were women. 44% respondents were from tier 1, 33% from tier 2 and 23% were from tier 3, 4 and rural districts. The survey was conducted via LocalCircles platform and all participants are validated citizens who had to be registered with LocalCircles to participate in this survey.
LocalCircles, India’s leading Community Social Media platform enables citizens and small businesses to escalate issues for policy and enforcement interventions and enables Government to make policies that are citizen and small business centric. LocalCircles is also India’s # 1 pollster on issues of governance, public and consumer interest. More about LocalCircles can be found on https://www.localcircles.com
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