Pandemic has led to behavioral change among film audiences
BL Soni

As the entertainment industry is limping back to business, people from different walks of life have now gradually started heading to movie theaters and multiplexes.

The impact of the lockdown, imposed to contain the spread of the COVID-19 outbreak, has tended to cause behavioral shifts among people. Mumbaikars, who once enjoyed the movie watching experience at theatres, have now started to prefer OTT platforms over theatres.

"I went to watch a film at a multiplex on the Diwali weekend. Throughout the show time, I missed the comfort zone of my home. I somehow feel watching a film at home is more convenient now than watching it at theatres," stated Radha Desai, a city-based researcher on film studies.

Desai informed, prior to lockdown, she used to visit theatres at least three times every month. However, now, OTT platforms have an abundance of content and she prefers to sit back and watch them at her home. "I could feel myself undergoing a behavioural change amidst the pandemic, as now I prefer watching films at home," Desai added.

For Dinesh Mohite, watching a film with his family was like a family outing. During the lockdown, Mohite and his family members switched to OTT platforms for content consumption.

"I have now developed this feeling that going to watch a film at a theatre is a task, wherein we can watch the same thing in the confines of our home without paying any extra amount," Mohite told the Free Press Journal.

Last week, Mohite decided to visit a movie theatre with his family, but he had to drop the plan as his family members persuaded him to watch the same movie at home instead. "Now most of the films that are being shown at theatres are now available on OTT platforms. Also, it's quite risky to step out as we have senior citizen members in our family as well," Mohite added.

Although, industry experts are optimistic that, once there is a solution to the pandemic, people will again be back at the theatres in full force. "People used to visit movie theatres for mostly socialising. Also, there have been not many new releases lately. Things will definitely improve in the next one month considering there is Christmas and New Year's eve," stated a marketing strategist of a popular multiplex chain.

"The pandemic has caused a psychological shift in all of us. We have now started to work from home as if it's normal, which is why people are now reluctant to step out often. Once things open up in a full capacity, people will again go back to their normal behaviour," stated Samir Dixit, city-based psychologist.

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Free Press Journal