The audience is waiting with bated breath, for cinemas to reopen and the film business to get back on its feet. Or so believes, Bollywood trade analyst and television host Komal Nahta. At a recent gathering titled Rainmaker Series (Exhibitors), he insisted that theatres would be back in business, sooner rather than later.
“We are film people and we don’t know how to do anything else. This is why we would put in all kinds of efforts to make this work again. The audience is waiting and so is everybody else in the industry,” he said.
While addressing the issue of people now getting habituated to watching OTT he said, “That habit has only been formed in over a year or slightly more. For the rest of their lives, people have been going to the theatre. You see, in human nature old habits die hard. The theatre is an older habit in comparison to OTT. Which is why I am doubly sure, we will soon see large queues outside the theatres, just like the way it was in the pre-Covid days.”
He then went on to talk about how Roohi as a film has done a decent amount of business, considering the fact that halls are running at 50 per cent occupancy in Maharashtra. Never expected to be a blockbuster, the film did have a moderate run during the last weekend. The business it did is directly proportional to the content it came up with. But that film cannot be a marker for all films that are on the way. This is just the warming up phase, post the Covid situation. Markets have been responsive, they will be more excited with each coming day. While urging the audience to be a little more patient he said he believed one will soon see distributors and hall owners trying to pull down each other while fighting for 18-20 shows a day.
Akshay Kumar’s Sooryavanshi and Salman Khan’s Radhe are expected to be big game changers in the current scenario. Since both films boast of high drama, action and splendid star cast Nahta feels these two films will turn things around for the movie business in India. “With these two films, things will definitely turn around. There are bigger films slated for release as the year progresses including the list Yash Raj Films has announced. So yes, we are ready with content that will keep the audience glued to the theatres for the next couple of years,” he pointed out.
A film is also an outing for the entire family. Watching a film with so many strangers on both sides, laughing and crying together while munching popcorn and vada pav, is an experience nothing can replicate. All the more reason for movies to be back with a bang!