New Delhi, Nov 17 (IANS) Suraj Pe Mangal Bhari, the first new Bollywood release following the opening of cinemas after the Covid-19 lockdown, is witnessing a cautious response from the audience, say industry experts.
The comedy starring Manoj Bajpayee, Diljit Dosanjh and Fatima Sana Shaikh, hit the big screens across India on November 15.
Diljit took to Twitter on Tuesday to share a photo of the film’s ticket and thank fans who ventured out to watch the film during the pandemic.
“Paji watching now at cinepolise ludhiana,” a fan replied.
Another wrote: “On my way to Mumbai… Traveling 250 km to watch #SPMB.”
Another commented: “Diljitdosanjh your movie forced us to fight the fear of #coronavirus.”
Kunal Sawhney, Senior Vice President, Operations, Carnival Cinemas, shared: “Yesterday was Bhai Dooj, so first half was low, but after 2pm, it (footfall) was better than Sunday. We have seen improvement as compared to the re-release films that we were running once the theatres opened after the lockdown. Today morning (Tuesday) also, people came for the 10 am show,” he told IANS.
More than the immediate box office fate of the film, Sawhney feels the release of the film will act as a booster for the overall trade.
“It’s very encouraging that people are aware there is a movie and that the cinemas are open. We will get back the audience,” he said.
Praising the content, he said: “It is a light comedy and family drama. People are laughing while watching it. Moreover, it is a family movie. It’s for all age groups. So, it is the right movie to start with.”
Yogesh Raizada, Director, Wave Cinemas, shared that the movie is performing better in places like Meerut, Haridwar and Moradabad as compared to Delhi-NCR.
“In Delhi-NCR, people have other options than to go to a mall or watch a movie. Also, the coronavirus cases are increasing here, so they are a bit cautious about going out,” Raizada told IANS.
Unfortunately, the film’s night shows in Mumbai’s Gaiety and Maratha Mandir were cancelled on November 16.
“It was the New Year, so public didn’t come. Now it’s open,” Manoj Desai, Executive Director of G7 Multiplex and Maratha Mandir theatre, told IANS.
But he is concerned about the footfalls.
“It’s not as expected. People aren’t coming in huge numbers due to the coronavirus. Cases are going up in Delhi and Mumbai, so let’s see,” he said.