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No Respite Ahead For Movie Theatres

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Movie Theatres

Movie theatres  have re-opened, much to relief of  cinema  exhibitors. 

But the question that movie exhibitors  are asking is,  where  ARE  the  patrons to fill those seats? The bums are gone. Movie attendance  throughout North India  remains  extremely   discouraging in the post-lockdown phase, what with audiences being given no  incentive to be lured back into the  large-screen  experience.

The Hindi feature films released in theatres  since the re-opening  of theatres in October have reported abysmal attendance. And  there is no hope for a  better boxoffice  performance  in  the near future.The  next big release  is the  Akshay starrer  Bell Bottom in  3D  and the  John Abraham starrer Satyamev Jayate.

But the question that is  troubling movie exhibitors is, how will they sustain  their business   with so  little  content  available? Most  producers  have sold their  products  to  the  OTT  platform and that includes  biggies  like  Shershah and  Bhuj: Pride Of India.

A representative   from a major multiplex chain tells  me there is little hope for  any sign of  recovery  for  the move business.

“The  future  looks bleak,very  bleak. We movie exhibitors are losing serious  money, and at this rate we will have  to shut down  theatres once again. Yes, that is  an option we are  very  seriously  considering. We  may  close down theatres  until May. By then hopefully the  audience will want  to  come back to theatres to see Salman , Akshay and  others,” says  the  representative  from the multiplex  chain.

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Most  movie exhibitors blame the  greed for quick money among producers  for  the current crisis  in the exhibition sector of the movie business. They feel producers  like Vashu Bhagnani and Akshay  Kumar should have waited to release their  films Coolie No 1  and Laxxmi in  movie theatres  rather than rushing to  the OTT platform.

In  the  midst  of  this atmosphere  of  despair  and gloom at  the  boxoffice  comes  the  news  the Akshay  Kumar starrer Soryavanshi is being readied  for  an October  release  by   its producer Reliance Entertainment and Rohit Shetty.

Hope lives!