First major release in theatres, Roohi, set to be a case study for Bollywood - The trade discusses box office

Will the audience get back to the cinema halls to watch this horror comedy featuring Janhvi Kapoor, Rajkummar Rao and Varun Sharma?
First major release in theatres, Roohi, set to be a case study for Bollywood - The trade discusses box office
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The Irrfan Khan starrer Angrezi Medium hit the big screen on March 12, 2020, just a day before cinema halls at key locations of India were shut down owing to the coronavirus pandemic. It was produced by Dinesh Vijan and it film could not really get a run at cinema halls post the opening day. Exactly 365 days later, another Dinesh Vijan production, the Hardik Mehta directed horror comedy, Roohi fronted by Janhvi Kapoor, Rajkummar Rao and Varun Sharma, is up for release thereby becoming the first major feature film to arrive in the cinema halls in the midst of pandemic. The producer is hopeful that the audience will be back to enjoy the experience of community viewing.

“In the end, it’s all about trying that first step. The last year was trying for producers, theatres as well as the audience. Maddock's success story is incomplete without the invaluable contribution of theatres. As the world slowly gets back to where it was, it’s about time cinema returns to all our lives. Roohi is an experience best enjoyed on the silver screen and I am sure the 11th of March will spell a prosperous new beginning for the film industry. With the excellent standard of safety protocols followed, we are sure theatres will bloom with patrons again,” he tells Pinkvilla.

In the end, it’s all about trying that first step. The last year was trying for producers, theatres as well as the audience.
Dinesh Vijan

His leading lady, Janhvi is elated with her return to the big screen. “I am really excited and very nervous. I missed going to the theatre myself and I hope, this is enough reason for the cinema culture to be revived again. Roohi is a theatrical experience, or rather, a community viewing experience,” Janhvi exults. The trade is equally eager and hopeful of this horror comedy, and believes that it would act as a case study for entire industry.

Trade analyst Komal Nahta feels, it’s an important film. “With 100 per-cent occupancy, all eyes are now on Roohi. Entire industry is sitting with a magnifying glass to see if the crowd is back, and the future of multiple films is dependent on Roohi. We are all hopeful of the situation to improve,” he sighs. Raj Bansal from Rajasthan shares that Janvhi Kapoor’s last release, Gunjan Saxena was a success on OTT and its goodwill should pass onto Roohi as well. “It’s the first Hindi film after a year, and the focus right now is to see the result of Roohi. I feel, the audience will be back to the cinema halls. I get dozen of calls every day to check on release calendar as people are bored of watching films at home,” Bansal admits.

It’s the first Hindi film after a year...I get dozen of calls every day to check on release calendar as people are bored of watching films at home
Raj Bansal

With cinema halls shut due to lack of content for over 6 months, Akshaye Rathi is finally at peace given the fact that the cycle of releases will kickstart again. “It’s in true sense kick starting the cycle of mass consumption and it can indeed bring back the audience in single screens and multiplexes alike. It is potentially going to be the biggest opener since the cinema halls have opened in India. In-fact, a lot of halls will reopen with Roohi. Let’s keep our fingers crossed,” he signs off.

Dinesh and his studio partner, Jio, are planning a wide release for the film across India in around 1500 screens from March 11. Stay tuned for extensive box-office reporting of Roohi from next week, only on Pinkvilla.

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