Bollywood has traditionally been a male-dominated industry, though strong female-centric films in recent years have attempted to balance things out to some extent. If we look at the gender balance in the industry from an audience perspective, there is a sharp male skew as well.
According to The Ormax Bollywood Audience Report (TOBAR), 57% of regular Bollywood theatre-goers were men. When it comes to the first-day box office, contribution of male audiences jumps to 69%, i.e., box office collections from male audiences is more than twice that from female audiences. TOBAR is an annual U&A (usage & attitudes) research conducted by Ormax Media among Bollywood theatre-goers in 56 cities in India, with an annual sample size of more than 7,000.
Female audiences tend to catch up over the weekend and thereafter, contributing 43% to the Lifetime Box Office (LBO) vis-à-vis only 31% to the opening day.
But for the higher average ticket price for females (Rs. 143) vs. males (Rs. 120), the imbalance in the box office contribution would have been ever higher. Average ticket price is higher for female audiences because of a more significant proportion of their viewing coming from multiplexes, compared to men, among whom the share of single screen viewing is more significant.
In terms of total footfalls, perhaps the best measure of the gender imbalance (as it does not factor in the ticket price), male audiences (61%) are way ahead of female audiences (39%).
Let’s see if more female-centric films bring some balance to these numbers over 2017 and 2018.