Production companies to come up with Big Budget films amid COVID 19

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The reopening of Indian cinema theatres is not a good option in the current situation due to the pandemic, The audiences safety and health are critical to this point. The Indian cinema halls are battling in the uncertainty of reopening dates and film producers are witnessing financial difficulties. Some movie studios are planning big-budget films in the belief that it will bring back the audience to the theatres next year. Production houses such as Viacom18 Studios, T-Series, Reliance Entertainment, and others have at least a dozen films lined up some of which will be dubbed and released in multiple languages.

T-series has two films starring Telugu actor Prabhas, titled Radhe Syam and Adipurush which are expected to be released in Telugu, Tamil, Malayalam, and Hindi. In addition to two films with John Abraham, Satyameva Jayate 2, and the untitled cross-border romantic drama along with Arjun Kapoor.  Reliance with a long-term collaboration with director Rohit Shetty will fund his two upcoming projects while Ronnie Screwvala and Siddharth Roy Kapur have collaborated with a movie based on the 1971 war titled Pippa starring Ishaan Khatter. Viacom18 Motion Pictures has Laal Singh Chaddha with Aamir Khan coming up. South Indian production house Vyajanthi Movies, with a science fiction drama starring  Prabhas and Deepika Padukone. The producer Sajid Nadiadwala has two Salman Khan movies Kick 2 and Kabhi Eid Kabhi Diwali.

Reliance Entertainment Group CEO Shibasish Sarkar said that big films are important if we aspire to bring people back to theatres. Satyameva Jayate 2 director Milap Zaveri, who is currently in pre-filming visit in Lucknow, said these mainstream creative works including films, sometimes make criticisms, but in reality, this is the content most of the country wants to see. He added that small scale movies getting word-of-mouth publicity takes longer attain more audience and are now likely to be watched at home on the OTT platform. But it is the audience in the heartland and small towns that is most starved of entertainment and most loyal to watch movies in theatres and will rush to the cinemas first. The films which cannot be enjoyed in smaller screens will help the revival of movie theatres.

Girish Johar, film trade and exhibition expert pointed to the promising box office in foreign countries that have re-opened the film screens. China has achieved full box office recovery, according to UK-based film industry analytics company Gower Street.  Meanwhile, across the 41 territories,  Christopher Nolan’s Tenet has released last Friday and has notched up $53 million. This shows that the audience wants to come back to theatres and it’s going to happen soon once they feel safe.

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