Released on November 15, 'Suraj Pe Mangal Bhari' is the only new Hindi movie to have premiered at the theatres. Shut for nearly seven months, exhibitors had been pinning their hopes on fresh releases to get audiences back.
Many film producers have turned to over-the-top (OTT) platforms to launch movies. (Image: Twitter/Diljit Dosanjh)
Manoj Bajpai-Starring ‘Suraj Pe Mangal Bhari’ is estimated to have earned about Rs 60-Rs 65 lakh in box office collections on its opening day, Atul Mohan, editor at Complete Cinema, told FE. Industry experts said the number is decent, given that theatres are running at half their capacities and not all screens are operational across the country.
Exhibitors are hopeful that the movie will get better reception in the coming days.
Kunal Sawhney, senior vice-president, operations at Carnival Cinemas said the film, having been released on a Sunday, missed out on an extended weekend. However, footfalls improved with each show. Delhi-NCR and Uttar Pradesh managed to put up a decent show on day one. Sawhney said that select small auditoriums in the states were fully occupied.
Carnival Cinemas is currently screening the movie across more than 70 screens and will add more over the weekend. The multiplex chain is running about 4.5 shows of the movie per screen on an average. “Footfalls for Monday afternoon and evening shows were higher than Sunday. On Tuesday, the morning shows performed better than the previous day. People have started coming back to the cinemas and we are confident that the coming Sunday will see much higher footfalls,” Sawhney said. Gujarat and Maharashtra’s Mumbai and Pune markets have seen a fair amount of traction, Sawhney added.
Inox did not respond to a detailed questionnaire. Director Siddharth Jain in a tweet thanked the makers of the movie for making the film the first Bollywood release after lockdown.
Released on November 15, ‘Suraj Pe Mangal Bhari’ is the only new Hindi movie to have premiered at the theatres. Shut for nearly seven months, exhibitors had been pinning their hopes on fresh releases to get audiences back. It is understood that the reluctance of multiplexes to relax virtual print fee (VPF) charges have kept some filmmakers from taking their movies to the theatre.
In an attempt to kickstart the industry, digital service providers (DSPs) Qube Cinema and UFO Moviez have waived off VPF charges for all new movies slated for a release in November. This will apply only to single-screen exhibitors.
Many film producers have turned to over-the-top (OTT) platforms to launch movies. OTT firms do not mind paying a premium to acquire fresh content at a time when they are attempting to broaden their reach. The bulk of the releases have been cornered by deep-pocketed players Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Disney+Hotstar.