‘Another lockdown will send cinema industry on a downward spiral’
On Thursday, the MAI released a statement, saying that the imposition of a second lockdown in Maharashtra will lead to all Hindi films (and many films in other languages) being postponed. In the last few weeks, the release dates of a number of films have been postponed. The latest film to be postponed is Chehre, starring Amitabh Bachchan and Emraan Hashmi, which was scheduled to be released on April 9. Other films which have been deferred are Bunty Aur Babli 2 (which was scheduled to release on April 23) and Haathi Mere Saathi (which was to be released on March 26). There are also speculations of Sooryavanshi, which is slated to be released on April 30, being postponed.
The letter states, “This will create an extremely adverse and hostile situation for cinemas across the nation… A second lockdown will be extremely detrimental and would lead to severe and irreversible consequences for the cinema exhibition sector.” The MAI expressed displeasure over a probable lockdown and stated, “Lockdowns (if implemented) are going to negatively impact the cinema, retail and shopping industry. Such measures that curtail smooth operations will not only deter genuine movie-goers and shoppers, who have slowly returned to cinemas and shopping centers, from visiting cinemas and malls, but also put into motion a downward spiraling effect on cinema industry and modern retail that could derail recovery of these segments (sic).” The MAI has requested the government to allow cinemas, malls and shopping centres to continue operating as per regular operational hours.
‘Allow cinemas, malls to be operational in regular hours’
Shaaminder Mallik, a distributor says, “After states such as Maharashtra, MP and Gujarat announced night curfews in some cities, exhibitors had to cancel evening shows. Some of the films that were released in the last few months didn’t perform well and after night curfew and speculations over lockdown more films are expected to reschedule their releases.”
An INOX spokesperson also confirmed that they had to cancel evening shows in several states after night curfew was imposed.