Even as Tenet, the first Hollywood film to release in the pandemic situation, has done well at the international box office despite social distancing and other hurdles, collecting a whopping $ 53 million in 40 overseas markets, cinemas in India are yet to open even in this current Unlock 4 stage, and the film exhibition sector is rather perturbed.
Many theatres in India have shut down after facing huge losses following the lockdown which started in mid-March, when films like Angrezi Medium, Baaghi 3 and Tanhaji were being screened and going great guns.
“Over ten percent of theatres have shut down. Losses have mounted to thousands of crores in the film sector and will be a lot more if theatres don’t open soon. This kind of loss has never been seen before for cinema and many small and medium filmmakers are in dire straits,” says Imtiaz Baghdadi, writer and historian.
Many filmmakers have now appealed to the government to allow multiplexes and single screens to open up again.
“The cinema industry is an inherent part of the country’s culture, and of the economy, supporting millions of livelihoods. Most countries have allowed cinemas to operate. We request the Indian government to allow us to operate as well. We are committed to offering a safe and hygienic cinema experience. If aviation, metros, malls, wellness centres and restaurants can be allowed to operate, the movie industry too deserves a chance,” says a representative of the Multiplex Association of India.
While many cine workers are back at work at shoots of TV serials, web series and some film projects, the exhibition sector seems most affected.
“A few lakh people are employed with the exhibition sector. They need to get back to work. Right from the guys who work at the food counters of multiplexes to the ushers and other staff at the thousands of theatres in India, everyone is suffering. It seems like an endless wait,” says Atul Mohan, editor, Complete Cinema....