Cinema halls may not open in India until June end

Cinema halls may not open in India until June end
  • Cinema halls in India might remain shut for at least two more months until June end, predicts a report by Prabhdas Lilladher.
  • Akshay Kumar and Kiara Advani starrer Lakshmi Bomb might release directly on Disney+ Hotstar amid coronavirus pandemic.
  • Industry experts estimated that film exhibitors in India will lose at least ₹3,500 crores. Moreover, according to Shailesh Kapoor, CEO Ormax Media, these halls are losing ₹150 crore a week.
There is bad news for all those who are wishing to rush to their nearest movie theatres soon after the lockdown ends. Cinema halls in India might remain shut for at least a month more until June end, according to a report by Prabhdas Lilladher.

The coronavirus pandemic forced several states including Maharashtra and Kerala to close theatres a week before India announced a complete lockdown on March 24. It means they are already shut for 40 days which might extend to 60 days more.

“The process of reopening will be gradual in nature. For instance, in some states where the COVID-19 risk is low theatres may open. However, till the time this rise resides completely, big-ticket releases may be postponed as producers may not want to lose out on business in other regions,” said the report.

Every week that theatres remain closed, they’re accumulating losses to the tune of ₹150 crore, according to Shailesh Kapoor, CEO Ormax Media. Film distributors are staring at losses of ₹3,500 crore as of now, according to CARE Ratings.

Even after they open, they might not see many footfalls due to malls and will also be subject to strict social distancing norms.


Due to this bleak outlook, the stocks of PVR Cinemas and INOX are on a free fall. The stock of PVT saw a 55% decline in its share between February 19 and April 27. Whereas INOX share price has declined 58% between February 24 and April 27.

There is more panic in the air
Since Covid-19 is an unknown devil, a lot of new research is hitting the internet every day. Even as many people discuss if the virus is airborne, a research says that a common air conditioner can spread the virus.

Scientists in China have earlier claimed hat air conditioners can infect 10 people who are sitting near an infected person. They studied a restaurant in Guangzhou, China where an asymptomatic case has infected nine people. They recommended an increase in distance between tables and improved ventilation to contain the spread.

Uncertainty on the survival of Single screens

Cinema halls in India have had a bad start in 2020. First of all, it had few hits to boast of like Tanhaji and Baaghi 3. Then the coronavirus outbreak forced it to close doors as per government orders. The worst-hit among these theatres were single screens.

“Single screens have been facing an existential crisis for a long time. Already fraught with hygiene and maintenance challenges which were hurting footfalls, COVID-19 induced lockdown has posed a direct threat on their survival,” said the report.

Single screens exhibitors are hoping to seek a relief package from the government

Is online release the future of movies?
From the other side, the closure of theatres has delayed the release of several big movies like Rohit Shetty’s Sooryavanshi starring Akshay Kumar and Katrina Kaif.

A few producers are also considering releasing them directly onto streaming platforms.

Akshay Kumar and Kiara Advani starrer Lakshmi Bomb is one such film that might release on Disney+ Hotstar amid coronavirus pandemic. The film, remake of Muni 2: Kanchana, is expected to be completed by June, said a media report.

Previously, Irfan Khan and Kareena Kapoor Khan starrer Angrezi Medium was released on Disney+ Hotstar immediately after its theatrical release in March after Covid-19 concerns hit footfalls.

OTT platforms in India too are upping their game, by launching shows and movies to engage people during lockdown. Amazon Prime, recently, added Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan a gay comic love story which was released in February this year.

See also: Lockdown Watchlist: Want to binge-watch a show that lasts a week? Try these long-running shows on Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney+ Hotstar and others.

Cinema halls lose ₹150 crore a week with lockdowns and delayed releases