After Kerala and Jammu & Kashmir, the Delhi government has also decided to shut down cinemas till March 31 in a bid to check rising cases of coronavirus infections. In fact, multiplex chains are working with ticket aggregators to ensure refunds to consumers in areas where the governments have decided to shut multiplexes.

Analysts said that the Indian film industry is now expected to see delays in the release of ‘big-ticket’ movies, which may hurt box-office collections in the next two-three months.

Within hours of the Delhi government’s decision, producers of Sooryavanshi , including Rohit Sharma Picturez, Dharma Productions and Reliance Entertainment announced that they are postponing the release of the movie. In a statement released on Twitter, the producers said that the decision was taken keeping in mind the health and safety of the audience.

Karan Taurani, Vice-President, Elara Capital said: “The Delhi-UP circuit contributes nearly 18 per cent of the overall box-office revenues. So Delhi city is a major contributor, and hence, filmmakers will have no choice but postpone their movies. With a big-budget film like Sooryavanshi getting postponed, there is expected to be a ripple effect, and we may see the release date of other key movies getting shifted over the next three months. Also, with the number of novel coronavirus cases rising across key cities, we may see other state governments also shutting down multiplexes.”

Fate of English movies

While Angrezi Medium is slated to release on Friday, other key movies that have been lined up for release in the coming days include Ranveer Singh-starrer 83, which is scheduled for April 10 release. Some big-budget Hollywood flicks like James Bond’s No Time to Die have already been postponed.

Mohan Umrotkar, CEO, Carnival Cinemas, said: “The impact of coronavirus on the business and on general life shall be significant. We are taking all possible precautions like providing hand sanitisers and gloves at all entry and exit levels, and taking hygiene measures at all our outlets, regional and head offices. Our staff has been briefed on how to handle the situation in case of an emergency.”

A spokesperson for BookMyShow said: “We recognise the ongoing health concerns due to the coronavirus and are committed to working with the regulatory authorities and the government on all precautionary health advisories issued across states. BookMyShow fulfils the role of a ticketing aggregator for all movies listed on the platform and will follow all due procedures to ensure no inconvenience is caused to our valued consumers, in case of any cancellations or rescheduling of movie releases. We will continue to closely monitor the situation and request all consumers to stay safe.”

Meanwhile, multiplexes are also said they are stepping up safety measure at their properties.

In a statement, Inox Leisure also said that it is closely following all advisories from relevant government authorities at local, state and national levels. It added: “Our cinema operations teams have been briefed about the precautions and preventive measures. We have been nimble and agile to ensure that our cinemas continue to remain clean and safe in the prevailing conditions. We have increased the frequency of our housekeeping and daily deep cleaning routines. Disinfectants are being used for sanitising and wiping all touch points like food counter tops, box-office counters, armrests, grab rails, door handles and knobs, light switches and other frequently used equipment.”

In a statement, PVR Cinemas said, “We believe that this is a temporary situation and remain buoyant about the film business in India, and our own growth prospects. We also look forward to continuing to serve our guests in the States of Kerala, Delhi and UT of Jammu and offering them a world class movie going experience 1st April 2020 onwards.”

social-fb COMMENT NOW