The struggling exhibition sector was hit again with the announcement that cinemas in Maharashtra will remain closed in November. This is not just an issue for Maharashtra but for cinemas across the country as it does not even allow an attempt of a new Hindi or English release.
Maharashtra contributed 27% to the overall Hindi film business in 2019 which amounted to 1130 crore nett. In terms of English films then just the Mumbai, Thane and Pune belt contributes around 25%. The problem is here as if cinemas are to get some decent new content it will be from Hollywood with films like Tenet and Mulan but until Maharashtra cinemas open these films cannot be released as this state gives a huge contribution to the overall pie of Hollywood films.
This will mean a no show for cinemas that are open especially in the Hindi circuits as there will hardly be any content. The major chains are not allowing the screening of films that have premiered on OTT and now Maharashtra to remain shut for another month will mean no content and hardly any footfalls.
There have been 47 Hindi films released this year in the theatres and now is this the final count or does it go higher will depend on what the Maharashtra governmnet decides at the end of the month. The film industry was expecting the release of 83 around Christmas but that can only happen if cinemas in Maharashtra are allowed to open.