As 2020 comes to an end, cinema world over is trying to come back to normalcy. With that DC films released their much-awaited film Wonder Woman 84 starring Gal Gadot. But will theatres in India see cash registers ringing at the box office or there is still time for people to experience films on the silver screen in its full glory? Read what our trade experts have to say.
Taran Adarsh (Critic/Trade Analyst): “All hopes on Wonder Woman. 2020 has been a disastrous year and the prominent films that released after reopening of cinemas, Suraj Pe Mangal Bhari and Indoo Ki Jawani -sank at the BO. Hollywood film Tenet did fare reasonably well at metros mainly. Wonder Woman 1984 is expected to work at metros and Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities as well. Plus, it's Christmas and New Year period, so let's hope the numbers are strong.”
Akshay Rathi (exhibitor): “Certainly! Even though the business would primarily happen in urban centres, the film is exciting enough to bring a significant number of patrons to the theatres. The falling number of COVID cases daily, coupled with the advent of a vaccine around the corner is ushering us into a phase where the restoration of normalcy is well on track.”
Pritish Nandy (Writer, Thinker, Critic, Producer): “Some audiences will certainly come back to watch Wonder Woman but I think theatrical audiences have shrunk forever. People have figured out the convenience and price comfort of OTT and it’s unlikely they will go back to theatres in large numbers ever again whatever may be the incentive. They can drop prices, give away meals free, whatever. Some big films will draw audiences, yes. But that will be for a couple of weeks or so and may happen thrice or four times a year at best. The lure of the theatre has gone like the magic of the red carpet premiere night has vanished. Times change. Habits change. Lifestyles change. Only a few young couples will watch movies in theatres to seek privacy and some intimacy in the dark.”
Raja Sen (film critic): “No. There will be some diehard fans who go to theatres but they are far from being considered safe -- especially in all the talk of a new and mutated strain of the virus. Everyone enjoys watching superhero movies in theatres, but the audience shouldn't be the one wearing the masks.”
Girish Johar (trade analyst): “Yes. I am very much optimistic that Wonder Woman 84 will bring in more audiences than present occupancies. The film is designed on a massive scale and no other medium except the big screen can do justice to it. It’s a mass commercial action entertainer and has all the ingredients to bring in audiences. Being dubbed in various languages and released wide all across will surely, in the least-case scenario change the gear towards positivity and more walks-ins to theatres. Just like what TENET did to urban cinemas doing decent business in the long run, despite the pandemic and health scare.”
Atul Mohan (Trade Analyst): “Tenet did manage to bring that little smile we all were waiting for. Wonder Woman is expected to do well. The numbers should be better than Tenet. Screen count is more almost double of Tenet but the latest curfew order in Maharashtra may affect the business. Mumbai, Pune is a big market for these titles. The curfew order would mean that shows after 7 or 7.30 will not be played, which is the preferred timing for the audience. The festive season has begun and trade is very hopeful that the audience will be back to where it belongs... CINEMA.”
Image source: Youtube/WarnerBrospictures, IMDb