Film exhibitors hoping for a change in fortune 

With a number of new films streamlined for release during December and January, multiplex chain officials and cinema hall owners are hoping for a change in their fortunes.

The state government allowed multiplexes and cinema halls to resume operation in November. However, since then, the exhibitors have been playing old movies as there have been no major releases. Amid the lockdown, many producers have also cancelled theatrical releases of their films and chose to release them on OTT platforms. Due to this, very few people have been visiting the movie theatres.

"A couple of anticipated films are set to hit the theatres in December. One of the films is a superhero film and we expect people to start coming in the theatres now," said an official of a popular multiplex chain in Mumbai.

"One of the films have released this week and our multiplexes have recorded a decent footfall in the first two days," he added.

Experts in the industry have mentioned in terms of entertainment January and February look promising, as most of the films releasing in December are mainly English films.

"Unless major Hindi films start releasing there won't be massive turnouts at the theatres. A couple of popular Hindi movies are streamlined for release early next year hence we are now hopeful that gradually things will get better" said Aravind Desai, a city-based film distributor.

After resuming their business, cinema owners have maintained the same ticket prices as how much it was prior to the lockdown, which has caused sheer inconvenience to many.

Meanwhile, owners and exhibitors of standalone film theatres informed their business won't improve unless regional films start releasing.

"Most of the films that are releasing now are English. Our standalone theatres are largely dependent on audiences of the Marathi and Gujarati films. Unless these films release on a full scale, we will have to continue bearing losses," stated Dinesh Mistry, a manager at a city-based standalone hall.

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Free Press Journal