Bollywood can now look forward to a good Independence Day weekend at the movies as cinema halls in Delhi prepare to reopen at 50% capacity on Monday, with some parts of the country seeing a reduction in covid-19 cases.
Even though it is unclear when Maharashtra will allow theatres to reopen, relaxations in Delhi have brought some relief, following in the footsteps of states such as Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Punjab, Haryana, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Jharkhand, Chattisgarh to reopen with 50% capacity while cinema halls in Telangana will be reopened with 100% capacity. However, Delhi and Maharashtra account for more than 60% of all Hindi box office collections in India.
In the early weeks, when fewer Indian films will be available as local producers gradually lock dates, Hollywood studios will be first in line to take advantage of the space in cinemas. In addition to F9, Warner Bros. will release The Suicide Squad, Space Jam: A New Legacy, The Boss Baby: Family Business, Dune, and M. Night Shyamalan’s Old.
Bellbottom, the spy thriller starring Akshay Kumar, is also expected to be pushed back from July 27 to August. A 3D version of the film is also being considered, ruling out a direct-to-OTT release. Bellbottom’s producers, Pooja Entertainment, have yet to make an official statement.
Producers will hold off on releasing big-budget films until exhibitors are granted a 100% seating capacity allowance, however small & mid budget films will begin to be released at 50% capacity as soon as the government lowers the limits.
Without even a question, exhibitors throughout the country are now waiting for the Maharashtra government’s approval to maximize profits for a long-struggling industry.