“We are very excited and happy,” says senior trade analyst Girish Johar while speaking to Opoyi on the news of theatres and multiplexes opening for the audience with 50 percent occupancy after six months.
The Centre on Wednesday issued guidelines for Unlock 5 to re-open economic activities, which were closed due to a nationwide lockdown imposed in March to stop the spread of coronavirus. According to the guidelines, the Centre has allowed the re-opening of cinema halls and multiplexes from October 15.
“After center, now we await the approval of state government also to give the green signal to open up cinemas and I am sure it will happen. Also, 50 percent occupancy given by the cinema is the pretty comfortable one because the losses which were there earlier can to some extent be mitigated and now producers and distributors will be fine-tuning their product and films to release it (sic),” said Johar.
Ashoke Pandit, President of the Indian Film & Television Directors’ Association, is equally excited.
“It’s a great relief to the film industry which was suffering badly since the lockdown. The dream of watching films on big screens is once again going to be full filled,” he told Opoyi and added that “when malls are functioning, markets are open, why not theatres.
“Cinema lovers will take precautions and will stay safe," he said.
Because of the nationwide lockdown, many big-budget films were put on halt. While some filmmakers chose the digital route to release the film, others thought of waiting to get the normalcy back. Films that will hopefully see the light of day include Akshay Kumar starrer “Sooryavanshi”, Ranveer Singh starrer “83” and Hollywood films like “Tenet”, "Mulan" and “Death of the Nile”.
Johar says that it will be a slow start at the box-office initially but “at least the wheel that was struck six months ago will start moving again.”
“I expect some old films, regional films, and Hollywood films to release. Hopefully, in a couple of weeks the scare factors in the audiences will die down and they (will) get the confidence to come back. I am hoping that by Diwali, we have grand releases which were announced earlier,” he said.
He says that theatrical releases of the film gives “bigger revenue options and also get the validation amongst the public and the audiences.”
“It has its charm and there is traditional cinema loving people too so they enjoy,” he said.
However, he has few suggestions too.
“I just want to say that confidence level of the audiences has to come back and for that, cinema theaters must ensure that all the medical protocols given by the Government should be adhered strictly because we don’t want cases to spread. I would also like to say that theatres should now give more weightage to small films because if they are treated badly and not nurtured, they will eventually go to OTT,” he sums up.