OTTs don’t pose a threat: Bijli

Even as it is coming out of a challenging year due to the pandemic, multiplex giant PVR plans to add more than 30 new screens in the coming fiscal, marking its entry into newer cities such as Thiruvanan-thapuram, Bhubaneswar and Patna, said joint MD Sanjeev Kumar Bijli.Mr. Bijli said he expected to go back to FY20 growth levels in the coming year.“The line-up of films is very strong — English, Hindi and regional… I do imagine that with the curve flattening, and the vaccinations going up, people will get more confidence to come and watch new films at the cinemas.so if not Q1, I would say we would be looking at bouncing back at least by Q2,” he added.“Last year was very, very challenging. A lot of businesses, especiall yours, got badly hit because we were the first ones to shut down and the last ones to open in October and that too with capacity restrictions, which have now been lifted in a majority of the States,” Mr. Bijli said. “However, now we’ve got a great line-up of films starting from March 11, so it’s looking very promising, of course, hoping that the numbers don’t go up as far as COVID cases are concerned,” he added.
On competition from OTT platforms on which some films were released during the pandemic, he said those times ‘were over’. “Movies were sold to OTT because producers didn’t have an option as cinemas were shut… But now you see a lot of ex- citement [from] producers, actors and the whole community to release their films on the big screen,” he added.