1 min read.Updated: 15 Jun 2021, 12:39 PM ISTLata Jha
Despite gradual easing of restrictions in several states, cinemas remain wary about expecting pan-India reopenings too soon. Key territories like Delhi and Mumbai, that contribute more than 60% to the Hindi box office, are yet to permit theatres to reopen
NEW DELHI: In a much-needed good news for cinemas, Akshay Kumar’s spy thriller Bellbottom will arrive in theatres on 27 July, the producers said in a statement on Tuesday. Given that no other Indian film has announced its theatrical release date yet, it could be the first big-ticket movie offering in cinemas after the easing of lockdown curbs following the second wave of covid-19 infections.
There was speculation that the film, co-produced by Emmay Entertainment and Pooja Entertainment, would opt for a direct-to-digital release.
Despite gradual easing of restrictions in several states, cinemas remain wary about expecting pan-India reopenings too soon. Key territories like Delhi and Mumbai, that contribute more than 60% to the Hindi box office, are yet to permit theatres to reopen. While most local filmmakers will need a promotional window of three to four weeks to gauge possibilities before they can schedule a title, Hollywood movies and older local films are expected to fill the gap in the initial weeks after reopening.
Apart from Bellbottom, the Bollywood line-up includes titles such as Sooryavanshi, ‘83, Atrangi Re, Jayeshbhai Jordaar, Prithviraj, Jersey, Lal Singh Chaddha, Satyameva Jayate, Gangubai Kathiawadi, Bachchan Pandey, Pathan and Cirkus.
Meanwhile, trade experts say southern producers who held back the release of new Malayalam and Tamil content such as Marakkar, Aaraattu, Annaatthe due to elections in Kerala and Tamil Nadu are also keen to announce these titles as cinemas open up. Even for Telugu movies, the calendar was packed till mid-October before the second wave started with titles like RRR, Ghani, Pushpa, Liger, Sarkaru Vaari Paata, F3 lined up.
With markets like the US now open, American movies such as Fast and Furious 9, A Quite Place 2, The Conjuring 3, and Cruella that have already released in other parts of the world, may make their way to India in the initial weeks after reopening.