Curtains down at Box Office & film releases delayed; What does the future hold? Nothing but bright days
Following the government orders to put restrictions on the cinema halls in multiple states, the release calendar of Hindi Film Industry has unfortunately gone for a toss again. What looked like a January dhamaka with major films like Jersey, RRR, Radhe Shyam and Prithviraj, will now end up being a dull month for the Hindi markets. And this dry run is expected to continue for at-least 3 months as one doesn’t foresee normalcy until the end of March 2022, as far as the exhibition sector is concerned.
While this is just the beginning, the cinema halls are expected to down their shutters in other major markets like Maharashtra and Rajasthan too in the days to follow, which in turn will lead to the February calendar too going up in the air. Films like Attack, Badhaai Do, Gangubai Kathiawadi, Jayeshbhai Jordaar were the big February attractions, whereas Bachchan Pandey, Shamshera, Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2 and Batman were touted to bring in the cheers in March. But as things stand today, the industry has gone back by three months and this will result in the reshuffling of the release calendar yet again.
Will Laal Singh Chaddha and KGF 2 keep up to their release dates on April 14 if cinema halls reopen? Will it be a power packed Eid with Heropanti 2 and Runway 34? Or will these 4 films make way for the backlog from January to March if things are back to normal? These are some questions that only time shall answer. So, well what does the future hold for us? Be assured, the year going forward is going to be a clutter at the box office with no clean runs and multiple clashes at the ticket window.
Multiple mid-sized might take the direct to digital route, whereas the bigger fishes will hold back for a theatrical opening. It’s going to be survival of the fittest, as the one who fights till the end is the one who will succeed. The two producers, Yash Raj Films and Sajid Nadiadwala, have shown a strong heart all through the pandemic by holding back their slate of releases, and it’s these two giants who are expected to continue with their unconditional support for theatrical medium with films like Prithviraj, Jayeshbhai Jordaar, Shamshera, Bachchan Pandey and Heropanti 2 to name some, which are all set for a theatrical opening once cinema halls reopen.
The industry calendar aside, Akshay Kumar calendar too will see a major revamp as the actor has as many as 6 films – Prithviraj, Bachchan Pandey, Cinderella, Raksha Bandhan, Ram Setu and Oh My God 2 – ready for a theatrical release this year. If the restrictions continue for a long time, the Khiladi too might be forced to think on bringing one of Cinderella, Raksha Bandhan and Oh My God 2 on the digital world to clear the dates for his bigger releases. Though we hope, that scenario doesn't arise as his films are meant for the bigger screen. But well, the delay’s aside, the show must go on.
The biggest learning over the last few months has been that the theatrical medium is alive and kicking. Despite the rising cases, the audience was stepping out to watch films and the inflow stopped only when the cinema halls were asked to down their shutters. The audience is starving for big screen entertainment and it’s just the right film that’s needed to bring them back in big numbers. Be it Sooryavanshi, SpiderMan or Pushpa – the three films kept the hopes on box office alive post the second wave, whereas 83’ too though a disappointment, eventually clocked almost Rs 100 crore through ticket sales. The line up going forward has those big event films to bring back the audience and as they say, the future is bright with RRR, Radhe Shyam, Prithviraj, Jayeshbhai Jordaar, Bachchan Pandey, KGF 2, Laal Singh Chaddha, Heropanti 2 and Runway 34 among others set for a theatrical release in a quick span of time. So well, the film industry waits to welcome the audience again!