3 min read.Updated: 30 Sep 2021, 02:49 PM ISTLata Jha
No Time to Die will pave the way for an exciting slate scheduled by Hollywood studios. Among them are: The Boss Baby: Family Business on 8 October, Venom 2- Let There Be Carnage on 15 October, action adventure drama Dune and Matt Damon’s historical epic The Last Duel on 22 October
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NEW DELHI: With the latest James Bond film No Time to Die releasing today, the franchise is looking to cash in on the bullish sentiment in the Indian exhibition market on the back of news of Maharashtra cinemas reopening on 22 October. The Daniel Craig film that will release in 1,000 plus screens is expected to travel to tier-two towns as well, thanks to 3D versions in dubbed local languages such as Hindi, Tamil, Telugu and Kannada.
Also, unlike many recent Hollywood films, No Time to Die will have simultaneous release globally and in India, making it an attractive proposition, especially, for young viewers. The James Bond franchise will also set the stage for Hollywood's comeback with a slew of big films scheduled till December.
The last James Bond film Spectre, released in 2015 had made Rs36.88 crore in box office collections and its Rs8.4 crore opening day figures were the highest first-day numbers clocked in by the franchise until then. Incidentally, the film had arrived later in India than many other countries and had benefited from the controversy around some of the kissing scenes being deemed too long by then-censor board chief Pahlaj Nihalani.
“The release of the film at this time should add to the confidence of consumers as well as exhibitors who have generally been enthusiastic since the news of Maharashtra reopening cinemas though it’s still almost a month away," film producer, trade and exhibition expert Girish Johar said.
The 3D version, announced days before theatrical release, is the first for a James Bond film and evidently meant to lure people to cinemas in these unprecedented times, trade experts said. The reopening of cinemas in Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka has already served Hollywood well over the past few weeks, with Marvel’s Chinese origin superhero flick Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings that had earned Rs23.58 crore at last count, seeing maximum gains from Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Mysuru.
Delhi NCR (National Capital Region) and Kolkata are also open, and Craig, who has a significant fan following in India, will not be returning for the next instalment of the franchise making this a special outing.
“This is not just a popular franchise in small towns, it’s also a fast-paced, action flick," Pranav Garg, managing director of Maya Palace, a two-screen cinema in Muzaffarnagar said. The last Hollywood release, Jungle Cruise, was primarily a children’s film and not as youth-oriented as No Time to Die or the other action film, Fast & Furious 9 that had released earlier this month.
Garg, however, was quick to point out that not too many single screen cinemas may be able to afford disposable 3D glasses meant for one-time use or agree to inflate ticket rates to incorporate these expenses right now. “Though 3D has great charm in small towns, we don’t want prices to pinch audiences’ pockets," Garg said, adding that he would be playing the film in 2D for now.
To be sure, No Time to Die will pave the way for an exciting slate scheduled by Hollywood studios. Among them are titled like The Boss Baby: Family Business on 8 October, Venom 2- Let There Be Carnage on 15 October (which will see a late release in Maharashtra post 22 October), action adventure drama Dune and Matt Damon’s historical epic The Last Duel on 22 October, Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story on 10 December and Spider-Man: No Way Home on 17 December, besides Marvel’s superhero film Eternals for the Diwali weekend in November.
Earlier this month, Walt Disney that had adopted hybrid models for recent films, bringing them out in theatres and on OTT simultaneously, said that the rest of its 2021 slate will have exclusive theatrical releases.
“Hollywood studios have obviously done their homework and realised that they will be at the losing end by killing the exclusive theatrical window. Though the hybrid model is anyway not in force in India, the foreign giants have shown the way by going back to theatres," Johar said.
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