1 min read.Updated: 13 Aug 2021, 10:55 AM ISTLata Jha
Many cinemas, especially, single screen theatres, in the country are waiting for the release of Bellbottom next week to both decide whether to reopen now and to take a call on whether they want to remain in the business at all
NEW DELHI: August may bring some respite for filmgoers as well as the exhibition business in India. Mystery thriller Chehre starring Amitabh Bachchan and Emraan Hashmi has confirmed its release in theatres for 27 August. The film has been directed by Rumi Jafry.
“There was no doubt in my mind that this was a film meant for a theatrical release. Chehre is not just thematically strong but has a certain grandeur that deserved the immersive magic of the big screen," co-producer Anand Pandit said in a statement. He said he insisted on a theatrical release to express solidarity with exhibitors and theatre owners who have gone through much hardship during the pandemic.
The announcement comes after Akshay Kumar confirmed releasing Bellbottom on 19 August for now. Although Mumbai has allowed malls to open and extended timings for restaurants, there is no word on re-opening of film theatres.
For Bollywood films, Maharashtra is crucial as it contributes 30-35% to box office revenue.
With key states like Delhi having permitted cinema operations last month, trade experts were pinning hopes on the Independence Day weekend for revival in film business. But many cinemas, especially, single screen theatres, in the country are waiting for the release of Bellbottom next week to both decide whether to reopen now and to take a call on whether they want to remain in the business at all.
To be sure, lack of exciting new content and curfews in some states have kept audiences away from cinemas while many of them have desisted from reopening given the unimpressive line-up and worry that resuming operations would add to costs.
Several theatre owners also fear that they may have to close down again with the possibility of a third wave looming large. Hollywood flick Mortal Kombat and the Telugu films that released in the past few weeks- Ishq, Thimmarusu, Narasimhapuram, Parigettu Prigettu and Trayam, have seen lukewarm response from audiences.