When August started, many in the film industry and theatre owners thought it to be an exciting month. However, it was not the case as recently released films like Laal Singh Chaddha, Raksha Bandhan, Liger failed at box office after their releases.
Liger was called to be entertaining and fun but all hopes broke due to low footfall, whereas Laal Singh Chaddha and Raksha Bandhan clashed on release amid boycott calls. Anurag Kashyap’s Dobaaraa too didn’t showcase well.
Seeing the miserable performances of these films, multiplexes had to decrease the number of shows for respective films. G7 multiplexes, also known as Gaiety-Galaxy in Mumbai, have shut down a theatre for now, which comprises approximately 1000-seater Gaiety and nearly 800-seater Galaxy.
“There are two ways to stay in the green. One is to increase the income and the other is to reduce the expenses. While movies aren’t doing well and big-ticket movies aren’t coming up till the release of Brahmastra on September 9, a lot of exhibitors are finding different ways to go through such lean patches by minimizing expenses. That could be by shutting operations entirely. Though salaries have to be paid, at least the operational costs are reduced significantly. Meanwhile, some reduce the number of shows. Rather than running the show with zilch occupancy that doesn’t even allow you to break even on the cost of running that show, it’s better to run a reduced number of shows,” Bollywood Hungama quoted Akshaye Rathi, a film exhibitor and distributor, as saying.
In the past, World Cup and IPL matches were shown in theatres. This time, India Vs Pakistan Asia cup match on August 28 was played. According to Rathi, “From the three national chains, almost 20,000 tickets were sold which led to collections of approx. Rs. 1.20 crores.” He said that India has won the first match and it has led to more excitement. He anticipates more ticket sales in the near future.
Moreover, Cinepolis India CEO Devang Sampat stated, “Ups and downs are very common and it’s happening across the globe. Running a cinema hall means incurring a fixed cost. The manpower is fixed and so is your rental. The only thing you save is electricity. But the electricity cost is such that it’s not feasible to play a show if less than 10 tickets are sold. However, we always have more than ten patrons in each show. So, we don’t believe in cancelling shows. We believe in continuing exhibiting content.”
However, Rathi is hopeful that Brahmastra—which is scheduled for next week—will get people in theatres in large numbers.