Bollywood gears up for party district as Maharashtra cinemas reopen
All eyes are on Akshay Kumar Sooryavanshi who announced the exit of Diwali a few minutes after the announcement of the government of Maharashtra. The festival, however, will see a huge box office clash given that the date had already been set for Rajinikanth’s Tamil film. Annatthe as well as the Marvel superhero movie Eternals.
Other vacations like Gandhi Jayanti and Dussehra will be important for regional film industries like South and West Bengal, besides seeing big-priced Hollywood titles that could further help the recovery.
Usually the last quarter of the year can bring in box office collections of over Rs. 1,000 crore with Diwali alone contributing ?? 200 crores.
“This decision was a source of great joy, not only for the entire film industry and its audiences, but also for employees in the film exhibition sector,” said Alok Tandon, CEO of INOX Leisure Ltd .
“We are confident that with this highly anticipated announcement, content producers will be planning their releases, which should strengthen the Hindi film pipeline in the coming months,” Tandon added.
Aside from Sooryavanshi which has been blocked for Diwali, Yash Raj Films has announced that its comedy Bunty Aur Babli 2 will be released on November 19. Studio Prithviraj’s big-budget period drama starring Akshay Kumar is slated for January 21, 2022, family artist Jayeshbhai Jordaar with Ranveer Singh for February 25, and Ranbir Kapoor-starrer Shamshera for March 18.
Kamal Gianchandani, CEO of PVR Pictures, said that even keeping the Hindi market aside, there had been plenty of evidence that people were returning to theaters, given the numbers recorded by Punjabi films. Qismat 2 and Putt Chal Mera 2 recently, as well as the romantic Telugu film Love story last Friday.
Starting with the new James Bond film No time to die on October 1, Hollywood has an exciting lineup that will include The Boss Baby: family business October 8, Venom 2- Let there be carnage October 15, action-adventure drama Dune October 22, Steven Spielberg West Side Story December 10 and Spider-Man: No Path Home December 17, in addition Eternals for the weekend of Diwali.
Bengali, Tamil and Telugu industries also actively locked dates – Bengali film Baazi will be released for Durga Puja, just like the Tamil thriller Doctor, followed by a horror comedy Aranmanai 3 the following week. Reliance Entertainment has locked down Christmas weekend for its sports drama ’83, which may conflict with Telugu star Allu Arjun’s multilingual action flick Pushpa: The Ascension – Part 1. that of Aamir Khan Laal Singh Chadha will be released for Valentine’s Day, 2022.
Devang sampat, the managing director of Cinepolis India said that before the pandemic, the holiday season was one of the best times for the film exhibition industry. With the improvement of the situation in the country and the return of new content, the holiday season will be much better than last year, he said.
“There is no doubt that there is massive demand from repressed consumers as audiences wait to go back to the theaters to watch movies on the big screen. We witnessed the same during the limited opening period of theaters between October 2020 and February 2021 when it was first unlocked, which resulted in an abrupt start to the recovery, ”said Ashish Saksena, COO of cinemas on the BookMyShow ticketing site.
Company projections show that this festive quarter will likely be better than the pickup seen during Unlock in 2020 and will be on par with 2018 and 2019 provided the pending films confirm release dates soon.
Festive periods are always something to look forward to, especially during Diwali followed by Christmas, Rahul Puri, Managing Director, Mukta Arts and Mukta A2 Cinemas said. “During the holiday season in 2018, films like Andhadhun, Badhaai Ho, Simmba were released, while 2019 saw many hit titles like War, Good Newwz, Dabangg 3, “he said.
“With more people vaccinated by at least the second half of the holiday season in 2021, where we are sure producers will be announcing films, this will hopefully be a promising time,” Puri added.
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