Overseas May Open Up Before India
Friday 17 April 2020 13.30 IST
Box Office India Trade Network
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The lock down across the world has put a stop to film business but there are early signs that cinemas may start opening up in Europe and North America around July. The lock downs are being eased in some countries of Europe though cinemas will be probably be among the last on the list on a staggered approach.

 

 

The big multiplex chains across Europe and North America will be putting up plans in opening cinemas with social distancing rules in places which will mean proposing that there will be an empty seat or even two per person in the cinema. This could work as Europe and North America run on 20-30% weekend occupancy and 10-15% weekday occupancy and that is on a good weekend with good releases. So even 2 empty seats per person will not make a much difference and studios may be prepared to release films. The bigger issue will is the public prepared to come out as social distancing rules in place means the virus is still a threat.

 

 

In India these plans could also be put forward by the multiplex chains but its unlikely a studio with a big film will release in this scenario as in India the first weekend occupancy can go to 60-70% on a big film and then there will be well situated cinemas in all the major cities which hit 90-100% occupancy. If a theatre is only allowed 50% occupancy then there will be a hit in business over the first weekend for a big cast film that has worked. No maker / studio of a big film can afford to take any hit in business over the first weekend as that is so hard to recover even if the film has worked. Its like a potential 100 crore weekend becoming 60-70 crore and that may be hard to swallow.

 

 

That is not to say the social distancing rules which will be used to open up cinemas in foreign markets cant be used in India. If Europe and North America manage to open up this way in July then India could attempt to follow but as mentioned it will tough or near impossible to get the good content to screens in India. 


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