While multiplexes and cinemas are all set to reopen, producers are wary of releasing new films, considering the strict dos and don'ts prescribed by the government and apprehensions over footfall. Theatres in major markets like Delhi and Mumbai will remain shut, adding to the reservations over new theatrical releases.
To address this lack of new content, PVR is planning to reopen with box office hits from last year and film festivals, reports said. The multiplex chain also has nine new Hollywood movies to show from its distribution arm, PVR Pictures.
Back in June, PVR had said these nine new films are ready for release as soon as the theatres reopen. These titles include My Spy, The Last Full Measure, Ordinary Love, Countdown, The Farewell, The Wild Goose Chase, The Personal History of David Copperfield, and The True History of Kelly Gang & Mr Jones. However, the company has not disclosed the release dates for these titles.
As for ticket prices, PVR will play the old films at a discounted rate, PVR Cinemas CEO Gautam Dutta told Moneycontrol. Shows across the will become cheaper by around Rs 99, with prices for Gold class tickets coming down to Rs 300-350, he added. Gold class tickets usually cost around Rs 500.
Moviegoers have been waiting for much-awaited Hollywood titles like Christopher Nolan's Tenet, the next James Bond film No Time to Die, and Wonder Woman 1984. Release of Marvel's Black Widow and No Time to Die, which were already postponed to November this year, have been pushed to 2021 now.
Bollywood films such as Akshay Kumar and Katrina Kaif starrer Sooryavanshi and Ranveer Singh's 83 are also ready for release but are unlikely to arrive in theatres anytime soon. Yash Raj Films (YRF) titles, including Ranveer Singh starrer Jayeshbhai Jordar and Bunty aur Babli 2, that are awaiting release might be the first new Bollywood releases after the theatres reopen.
Under the latest unlock guidelines, the government had allowed multiplexes and theatres to reopen after a gap of seven months. On Tuesday, Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar announced the standard operating procedures (SOPs) cinema halls and multiplexes must follow before they open on October 15. These guidelines include one seat distance in theatres, 50 per cent capacity, masks at all time, proper ventilation and air conditioner temperature settings at above 23 degrees Celsius.
However theatres and cinemas in Maharashtra and Delhi will remain closed for now. Producers are hoping audiences to return to theatres by Diwali.
"Footfalls will increase gradually. Hopefully by Diwali, we should have a better understanding or how good the situation is. We will think of the release once we complete the shoot of our films. We are praying footfalls in theatres show positive signs," producer Boney Kapoor told PTI.