The chief minister of Punjab, Charanjit Singh Channi, has announced that cinemas in the state will be allowed to operate at full capacity. Many artists from the Punjabi industry had a personal meet-up with the CM, resulting in the announcement.
Several filmmakers have been announcing their release dates and the industry has had some big hits ever since theatres were opened after the COVID-19 lockdown. Up until now, however, theatres were operating only at 50 % capacity. Films like Puaada, Honsla Rakh, and Qismat 2 had managed to perform well even with the restricted capacity.
According to Box Office India, Diljit Dosanjh-starrer Honsla Rakh has taken the post-pandemic business of Punjabi films to a new level with a collection of ₹12.35 crore in its first week. It is heading towards gross collections of ₹50 crores worldwide.
The theatres reopening with full capacity in the state means more films coming out of the Punjabi film industry that was being held back due to the fear of losses.
Meanwhile, Kerala cinema theatres are having a hard time since their reopening last month after almost seven months and non-operation.
According to a report in Livemint, trade experts believe that with no new local film, and only a handful of Hollywood releases, the Malayalam film industry is likely to take until Christmas to bounce back and achieve normalcy the following year.
Trade analyst Sreedhar Pillai said that with Malayalam cinema having developed a strong OTT streaming market during the pandemic, along with 50% seating capacity in theatres, only non-star films can afford to hit screens in the coming weeks.
Apart from Malayalam film Star, and a few big Hollywood releases— Venom 2, No Time to Die, and Dune—there is no big Malayalam release that will pull the audiences to the theatres. Dulquer Salmaan’s Kurup releasing on 12 November is the only other local film scheduled thus far.
With 50% capacity and a small market, theatres in Kerala are still struggling in the absence of local content.