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Maharashtra Govt Stalls Reopening Of Theatres, Leaves Film Business In Dark

If trade analysts are to be believed, this will further affect the film's overall box office collection as Maharashtra plays an important role in box office collections.

Photo Credit : Shutterstock

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Amid the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, Maharashtra Government on Monday decided to keep the cinema closed till further orders, to prevent the possible spread of the deadly disease. 

Multiplex Association of India, also tweeted, The decision to keep the cinemas closed made by the government of Maharashtra is hugely disappointing for the entire film industry. The decision comes at a point where the film industry is receiving permission to reopen theatres in all states, and the industry is trying to recover from the devastating pandemic.

If trade analysts are to be believed, this will further affect the film's overall box office collection as Maharashtra plays an important role in box office collections. Films like Chehre, starring Amitabh Bachchan-Emraan Hashmi, Ranveer Singh starrer 83, and many others films are again delayed keeping the eye on the situation.   

Atul Mohan, Film Trade Analyst said, "This has come as a shock for the trade. We all were expecting the government resolution for the reopening of cinemas in Maharashtra, this week, as almost every state in the country has given a green signal to reopen cinema halls. All movie releases were planned accordingly, however, now they will have to wait for more time. No big movie can plan its release until cinema houses in Maharashtra especially in Mumbai reopen."

Rahul Puri, Managing Director, Mukta Arts Limited said, "The decision is a setback for sure. Maharashtra is the largest cinema market for Hindi films and the decision to keep the theatres closed will impact producers to announce new Hindi films in the coming weeks. This is a problem as the ailing industry needs new films to attract viewers back with cases coming down."

At present, Akshay Kumar is the only A-lister who has announced the release date of his upcoming spy-thriller film Bell-Bottom. However, as the cinema halls in Maharashtra remain shut, the film is expected to see a significant impact on its box-office collections.

"The upcoming release, like Bell Bottom, will be affected obviously, if the makers skip the Maharashtra release as the state contributes to almost 40 per cent of Box Office returns," said Mohan. 

Written by Aseem Arora and Parveez Sheikh, the film will hit theatres on August 19 and  is the first Hindi box-office release to hit cinemas post the COVID-19 this year. The film is relied upon to do a business of Rs 75 crore.

The step by Maharashtra Government has led many people from the film fraternity like film producers, exhibitors in disappointment as they fear more money loss. "It has been really tough and testing times for exhibitors and no relief has been given to them. More than 1000-1200 theatres have closed down permanently. The pain and suffering of the exhibition sector are inexpressible," Mohan added. 

Meanwhile, amid the speculations of release date rescheduling, makers of the Bell Bottom have released the much-awaited trailer which confirms the release date (19 August). 


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