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New Delhi: Sony Pictures Films India has announced a new title called Aankh Micholi that will feature Paresh Rawal, Mrunal Thakur, Abhimanyu and Sharman Joshi, among others and will be directed by Umesh Shukla known for films like OMG- Oh My God! and 102 Not Out.

Last week, the studio said it has partnered with director Ram Madhvani known for movies like Neerja, to produce an underwater thriller titled Dive. It will be directed by ad filmmaker Nitin Parmar.

To be sure, even though not all states have permitted movie theatres to reopen, the Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada and Malayalam movie industries are fast announcing new projects in signs of returning to work and making films for theatrical exhibition. Telugu stars like Chiranjeevi, Ravi Teja, Mahesh Babu and Jr. NTR have all announced new projects while Tamil stars Vijay and Dhanush have committed to upcoming films, Beast and an untitled venture with director Sekhar Kammula, respectively. As far as Bollywood goes, Ajay Devgn will produce the Hindi remake of Telugu hit Naandhi while Kartik Aaryan will be seen in a musical love story titled Satyanarayan Ki Katha.

Trade experts say these are signs the industry is looking at theatrical releases seriously, especially in 2022, when improving consumer sentiment and vaccinated audiences will make for good returns for movies that are ready by then.

Presuming people take around three to four months to feel fully safe in visiting theatres even after pan-India reopenings, the film business in India could see a jump of at least 20% in revenue compared to 2019 once things normalize, given how hungry audiences are to step out of home, trade experts say. The trend has already been seen overseas with Fast & Furious 9 setting a post-pandemic record as it collected around $63 million over its three-day weekend in the US and A Quiet Place Part II having earned around $47 million over the same period earlier.

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