India's film industry revenues declined by nearly 14 per cent last year, hit by a damaging producers' strike, swine flu fears and poor quality content, according to a study published on Tuesday.
The sector was worth 89.3 billion rupees (1.95 billion dollars) in 2009, down from 104.4 billion in the previous 12 months, consultancy KPMG said in a report for the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry.
A boycott by Hindi-language Bollywood producers that saw no new films released for two months because of a row with multiplex cinema owners over box office takings contributed to the sharp dip in revenue.
The release of a number of high-profile Bollywood films was also postponed after swine flu forced the closure of cinemas in the Mumbai area in August. Revenue from the overseas market fell nearly 30 per cent, hit in part by the global economic downturn.
But KPMG said that the "rollercoaster year", which ended with four major blockbusters, including Aamir Khan's record-breaking "3 Idiots", gave hope for the industry this year.
The downward trend is likely to be reversed in 2010, with projections of eight percent growth. The industry is predicted to grow by nearly nine percent to 136.7 billion rupees by 2014, it added.
The report, released at a media and entertainment industry conference in Mumbai, said that last year's troubles should force film-makers to reassess their strategies, particularly improving the quality of content.
Oscar success for the British-made film Slumdog Millionaire had focused international attention on Indian talent both on and off the screen, while Hollywood continued to seek joint ventures with local studios.
Revenue was also likely to increase as more multiplex cinemas open, replacing traditional single-screen movie theatres, the report added.