Diwali arrives early for Maharashtra multiplexes
The stage is set for an August in theaters from November to December with a bunch of big-ticket Bollywood movies rushing to book a release date by year-end, shortly after the decision of the government of Maharashtra to allow the reopening of cinemas from October 22.
Major films like Akshay Kumar star Sooryavanshi (Diwali weekend), Ranveer Singh’s cricket drama ’83 (December 25), Bunty Aur Babli 2 (November 19) and Shahid Kapoor’s Jersey (December 31) as well as Hollywood’s No Time to Die (September 30), Spiderman – No Way Home (December 17) and Matrix 4 (December 22) are expected to draw crowds in theaters after April 2021.
The two months are also shocking with John Abraham’s Satyamev Jayate 2 (November 26), Tadap (December 3) and Aayushmann Khurana-starrer Chandigarh Kare Aaashiqi (December 10).
BIG EDGES AT PLAY
Calling it a big respite for cinemas ravaged by the pandemic, Elara Capital’s senior vice president and research analyst Karan Taurani estimated that at least Rs 500 crore was at stake for Bollywood at least in November and December with the reopening of Maharashtra cinemas. âAll of these films have average to big budgets ranging from Rs 70 crore to Rs 100 crore. But collections are not expected to hit the club of Rs 200 crore anytime soon. “
The Multiplex Association of India said Maharashtra’s film exploitation industry had lost Rs 4,800 crore in various lockdowns since March 2020, while movie theater chain Inox estimated that the film exploitation industry had lost. lost 2,000 crore business rupees from Maharashtra alone since April 2021.
The state, home to Bollywood, accounts for around 25-30% of the box office collections of one of India’s largest film industries. It contributes 40% of the box office collections of English films in India.
âMumbai Territory (which compromises Mumbai City, parts of Maharashtra, parts of Karanataka, Goa and Gujarat) contributes 28% to 35% of a Hindi film’s box office,â Gautam said. Jain, partner of media consulting firm Ormax Media.
He said that many big-ticket Hindi films have kept their theatrical releases for Maharashtra. âBy watching the theatrical performance of the regional films, one can be sure that audiences will also be returning in large numbers to Maharashtra once the Hindi films start to come out,â Jain said.
“OTT-ONLY, A COVID RESPONSE”
No big movie wants an OTT just because it will be a loss for them, said Abneesh Roy, executive director of Edelweiss Securities.
âThe box office is the only sustainable model, with its satellite rights and its OTT option. Going straight to the OTTs was a response from Covid-19. Now, if the third wave (of coronavirus infections) does not happen – according to data from Europe, even if cases are increasing, mortality is low – no big movie will go directly to OTT because this makes no financial sense whatsoever. “But, he added, it will take time to return to pre-Covid attendance levels.
In addition, theater occupancy limits limiting attendance still exist in several states. It can also annoy the family audience as they will have to sit on each other and the children’s vaccinations have yet to start, experts said.
âThere is a huge pent-up demand from audiences to watch movies on the big screen and with the big Bollywood tickets and regional movies waiting to be announced by producers and Hollywood content being broadcast internationally, we are expecting that the film shooting habits come back among the customers. Said CEO Gautam Dutta of India, the largest PVR multiplex chain.
At least 24 Bollywood films, 18 Hollywood films and 22 regional films are expected to hit theaters in the coming months.
âThe range of emerging content also bodes well for the financial health of the film exhibition industry and should accelerate the recovery process,â said INOX Leisure CEO Alok Tandon.
PVR’s revenue increased from Rs 3,452 crore in the year ending March 2020 to Rs 310 crore a year later. Rival INOX’s income increased from Rs 1,915 crore to Rs 148 crore during the period.
Also read: Movie theaters in Maharashtra to reopen from October 22; Bollywood lines up new movies