Bollywood has been shut since the November 26 attacks in Mumbai. Though TV content-makers got back to business for a while on Friday, the rest of Bollywood couldnt turn up for work. In terms of production, the losses are not so high, and many of the film units are shooting outside Mumbai says Hiren Gada, Director, Shemaroo, but the real loss is in terms of revenues. With the multiplexes being shut for two days, it has already led to huge losses. Admits Ranjan Singh, Head, marketing, PVR Pictures: The loss depends on the movies occupancy, but overall, the business affected is Rs 5 lakh approximately per multiplex per day, and this is just not in Mumbai alone. On Friday, Oye Lucky Lucky Oye, Dibakar Banerjees second film after Khosla Ka Ghosla, released everywhere but Mumbai and the occupancy was low all over. Singh says, the average loss per multiplex per day in other centres is around Rs 3 lakh per day at smaller centres. Utpal Acharya, Vice President programming and distribution, Inox Leisure says, Our multiplex at Nariman Point is situated right adjacent to the Oberoi Trident hotel where the mishap took place. It was an inopportune moment that claimed the lives of so many. We were worried about the safety of our patrons who frequent our multiplexes and so it was imperative for us to keep all the multiplexes shut for those two days. I am optimistic that we will resume operations soon and this will have little impact on our business.
Footfalls had gone down but it is only natural. No major releases have been cancelled. As of now only the film called The President is Coming has been delayed. But business as such has not been impacted, adds Devang Sampat, Senior Vice President, marketing and programming, Cinemax India.
Gada says unless confidence building measures are undertaken people will continue to stay away from multiplexes and thats the greater reason for worry. Bollywood hasnt had a particularly good year and a slew of big-ticket releases, including Aamir Khans Ghajini and Shah Rukh Khans Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi, are planned this holiday season to make up for that.
Sudipta Datta & Sulekha Nair