Mumbai: The nationwide lockdown, enforced by the government to check the spread of Covid-19, has hurt the cinema theatres big time.
Multiplex chain PVR Pictures made no bones about their displeasure over the recent trend of new movies being released on digital platforms.
Two days ago, it was announced that Shoojit Sircar’s Gulabo Sitabo — starring Amitabh Bacchan and Ayushman Khurrana — will be released on Amazon Prime on 12 June. Shakuntala Devi, starring Vidya Balan in the lead role, also decided to go digital with live streaming.
“We are very disappointed with some of our producers deciding to go straight to digital platforms when at PVR, we believe that the theatrical release is the best way for audiences to experience the labour and creative genius of our filmmakers,” CEO, PVR Pictures, Kamal Gainchandani was quoted as saying by PTI.
Another leading multiplex chain INOX had earlier expressed its concern about films being released on live streaming platforms amidst the lockdown. They expressed “extreme displeasure and disappointment” over the move.
PVR Pictures boss Gainchandani added a note of optimism. “We are confident there will be enough and more pent-up demand from cinegoers who have been cooped up at homes for so many weeks. We are likely to see demand by force on a sustained basis, once we reopen,” he said Mr Gainchandani, hoping for better times at the “other side of this crisis.”
Single-screen cinemas and multiplexes will have to change seating arrangements keeping in mind social and physical distancing norms when they are allowed to open.