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- Spider-Man: No Way Home garnered Rs. 47.5 crore in gross box office advance sales, making it the single-busiest advance ticket sales generator since cinemas started reopening in October 2020
- With capacity restrictions for cinema halls in many states, theatre-owners continue to implement cost-cutting measures while charging premium bucks for tickets
- With the Omicron threat looming large, theatre footfalls continue to depend on major event films
Mumbai: After long delays and a brutal covid-19 pandemic, a string of high-profile Bollywood and Hollywood movies, including Sooryavanshi, ’83, Spider-Man: No Way Home, The Matrix Resurections, etc. finally premiered on the silver screen. Amid great anticipation, Spider-Man garnered Rs. 47.5 crore in gross box office advance sales, making it the single-busiest advance ticket sales generator since cinemas started reopening in October 2020, as per the Multiplex Association of India.
The homegrown ’83, too, has been inviting continued theatre footfalls, even after the opening weekend. The latest data shows that box office revenues are now at par with pre-covid levels for big-ticket films.
Is the film industry on a steady path to revival, with a host of major event films releases lined up? Or will Omicron dampen the movie industry’s 2022 prospects? “As of now, we’re mainly seeing people coming to the theatres for event films. I think, this trend will continue for a couple of more weeks or months depending on the fear factor around Omicron,” observes Komal Nahta, Film Trade Analyst, during a panel discussion on ET NOW.
“Since about six states currently have 50% capacity restrictions for movie theatres, we’re trying to fill up the cinema halls till the permitted capacities. The second key policy aspect right now is cost-cutting. Hiking ticket prices and cost-cutting are allowing movie theatres to sustain quite well, indeed,” quips Kailash Gupta, CFO, INOX Leisure Ltd.
Given the uncertainty of the covid times, will the industry see a steady enough inflow of content? “I don’t think it will be enough. I think it will be more than enough, and we are getting a glimpse of this trend currently. Last week, we had two major releases — Spider-man: No Way Home and Pushpa: The Rise — both of which have gone on to become blockbusters. Then, next week we have Jersey and RRR (one of the costliest films ever made) slated for release. We have a full enough pipeline of films for all audiences. I have absolutely no doubt that over the next 6-8 months, there will no shortage of content. In fact, films will be eating into each other’s collections because of the limited number of movie theatres we have in the country. So, all in all, the movie business outlook appears to be optimistic, indeed,” concludes Nahta.