Film exhibitors contend for fresh content to pull crowds to theatres

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Updated: Jan 07, 2021 8:01 AM

Cinemas are looking forward to screening Sooryavanshi, 83, Radhe, Brahmastra, Bell Bottom, Pathan, Prithviraj, Jayeshbhai Jordaar and Laal Singh Chaddha this year

A number of movies of huge scale are currently at various stages of pre-release.A number of movies of huge scale are currently at various stages of pre-release.

Film exhibitors are banking on a fresh line-up of content to draw more crowd to the theatres. Viewers, they say, are more than willing to catch a movie at the theatres now. Inox, in fact, ran houseful shows for Tenet and Wonder Woman 1984, said Rajender Singh Jyala, chief programming officer.

The two films are estimated to have collectively earned over Rs 25 crore so far. For Cinepolis India, footfalls during the week of Tenet’s release were nearly three times higher than the previous week. “Our internal surveys show that one of the biggest factors preventing more people from coming to the cinemas is unavailability of content,” CEO Devang Sampat told FE.

Cinemas are looking forward to screening Sooryavanshi, 83, Radhe, Brahmastra, Bell Bottom, Pathan, Prithviraj, Jayeshbhai Jordaar and Laal Singh Chaddha this year.

Besides, sequels of established franchisees like Hera Pheri 3, Golmaal 5, Satyamev Jayate 2, No Entry 2 are expected to have a theatrical launch, Inox CEO Alok Tandon said in a note last week. A bouquet of regional movies, including big releases like RRR, Annaatthe and Cobra are also in the offing. “In all, a multi-hued line-up, which is extremely high on entertainment, is all set to rule the roost in the year 2021,” Tandon said.

Staggered opening of theatres across the country and fresh periodic restrictions in some states sure act as a deterrent for producers to go for speedy releases. But, following the decent reception of Tenet and Wonder Woman 1984, they are now more confident to take movies to the theatres. Once these issues are resolved, cinemas can expect to host more films, said Kunal Sawhney, senior vice-president at Carnival Cinemas. Sawhney said family drama Ram Prasad Ki Tehrvi that released on the New Year day would bring families back to the theatres. Small budget regional movies have already scored well in Tier-II and -III markets as they do not offer varied entertainment options. “People are becoming comfortable coming to the cinemas. In the East, we saw packed shows for Bengali films,” Sawhney said.
A number of movies of huge scale are currently at various stages of pre-release. “We strongly believe that the producers will come out with the release dates on the basis of the industry’s performance in the next two to three weeks,” Inox’s Jyala said.

After record revenues of over Rs 4,000 crore in 2019, box office collections for 2020 are estimated to have barely touched Rs 500 crore. Analysts expect to see a revenge consumption once theatres offer more content.

“People are itching to step out,” they said.

Read Also: RenewBuy ups marketing spends by 20%; aims to strengthen its reach across tier 2 and 3 markets

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