MUMBAI: As low screen density continues to affect the film business, industry experts say the focus should be on adding screens in small towns where regional cinema has good potential.
William Feng, Vice President, Greater China, Motion Picture Association; Kurt Rieder, Head - Theatrical Asia, 20th Century Fox; Kapil Agarwal, Joint Managing Director, UFO; and Kulmeet Makkar, Chief Executive Officer, Film and Television Producers Guild of India Ltd, among others, discussed the subject during a panel discussion at Ficci Frames 2018 on Tuesday.
They spoke about how lessons from other countries can help India explore new business models to improve the screen count.
Rieder said: "We would like to see more number of screens in tier-2 and tier-3 cities. There are not enough screens per multiplex in tier-1 and tier-2 places because once they build these things, nobody realises that regional films are going to explode and suddenly the average multiplex probably requires twelve screens."
Feng gave a presentation on 'Screen Density in China Market Development', while Sushil Chaudhary, Founder and CEO, Picturetime spoke about a new business module on screen density, aimed at targeting the audience in rural areas.
The DigiPlex mobile theatre vans, run by Picturetime, offer their audiences high-quality movie-viewing experience in the rural areas and is an economical option for the audiences in remote areas to catch up with newly released films. Charging between Rs 30 to Rs 70 per viewer, the DigiPlex first pitches a collapsible all-weather canopy that can accommodate at least 120 viewers.
Chaudhary said: "We offer the comfort of an air-conditioned theatre at a very economical price. Once you get in, you forget you are not sitting in a proper theatre. We have already managed to take this to 21 cities in one year and we expect to get into 60 cities and remote villages by end of this year.
"With this module, we are also looking at helping regional cinema and campaigns issued in public interest."
Ficci Frames 2018 is an ongoing global convention on media and entertainment here. It will conclude on Wednesday.