Theatre owners, movie fans ecstatic over grand reopening with James Bond flick


Thrissur: Theatre chains and owners in Kerala are hoping that "James Bond 007" would come to their rescue in the same way the movie lifted the fortunes of world cinema. 

The screens in Kerala are opening to the public on October 25. Coinciding with the reopening of cinemas across the State, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc. Studio has decided to release the new James Bond thriller in Kerala on October 27.  

 “No Time to Die”, a James Bond film coming after six years, has already revived the fortunes of the theatres that opened worldwide after the COVID-19 crisis. The movie opened internationally last Thursday to strong reviews and impressive ticket sales.

 It’s billed as the last Bond film to star Daniel Craig, who is retiring from the role. Craig had donned the role of Bond in the last five movies. This is the 25th film in the James Bond series. 

The movie was released at a time when the entry of the audience is restricted to 50 per cent of the capacity of cinema halls worldwide. But even then, the new movie set the box office ringing by collecting Rs.896 crore till now. The production cost of the movie was Rs.1858 crore. About Rs.740 crore was spent on the film's advertisement alone. 

The release of the movie, which was planned last April, was postponed due to the COVID-19 crisis. There were reports that the movie has been sold for a price of Rs.4,400 crore for its OTT release. 

The movie collected Rs.110 crore in Germany, Rs.43.11 crore in Japan and Rs. 46. 83 crore in the Gulf. In Korea, it collected Rs.34.19 crore while in Britain it fetched a revenue of Rs. 222 crore. In four days' time, it made a fast buck of Rs14.86 crore in India. Remember, these impressive figures were achieved at a time when only 50 per cent of spectators were allowed to visit cinema halls.     

In Kerala, the effort is now on to screen the movie in a minimum of 150 theatres. The theatre owners are hopeful of luring spectators back to the seats with the release of the new James Bond movie.

What about Indian flicks?

Kochi: Even as the movie halls in Kerala are set to reopen on October 25, there is no clarity on the releases that will hit the theatres in the first week. 

Confirming the lack of clarity, Kerala Film Producers’ Association president M Ranjith said a meeting of film producers will be convened. 

Big-budget movies are unlikely to be screened immediately after the reopening due to Covid-induced restrictions.

While announcing the decision to allow the reopening of cinemas, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Saturday said that they could operate only with 50 per cent of the total seating capacity.  

Mohanlal’s ‘Marakkar: Arabikkadalinte Simham’, ‘Aaraattu and Thuramugham’ are big-budget movies awaiting theatrical release. The post-production works of Mammootty’s ‘Bheeshmaparvam’ are underway. 

Other leading actors do not have movies lined up for theatres, since they have already been released on OTT platforms. 

It has been indicated that the big-budget movies would wait for a Christmas release. 

Tamil movies, Rajnikanth’s ‘Annaatthe’, and Simbu’s ‘Maanaadu’ were released on Monday.

Along with these two movies, ‘Enemy’, with Vishal in the lead, and Akshay Kumar-starrer Hindi movie ‘Sooryavanshi’ would be available for screening when the theatres reopen. 

Welcoming the decision to reopen movie halls, Kerala Film Chamber president G Suresh Kumar said more details would be announced after talks with the government. 

Film Exhibitors’ United Organisation of Kerala (FEUOK) general secretary Sumesh Joseph Manarkkad said the theatres were being readied to receive the audience. 

Minister for Cinema Saji Cherian, meanwhile, said a meeting with various movie organisations would be convened. The organisations were expecting more decisions in the meeting.

Exhibitors miffed over two-dose vax norm

Thiruvananthapuram: Opposing the two-dose vaccine norm for allowing audiences into cinema halls, theatre owners said only 1.1 crores of the State population has received both the jabs.

Movie halls, first closed on March 10, 2020, were reopened briefly on January 13 this year, before the second COVID-19 wave forced their closure once again after three months. 

It has been estimated that the pandemic has caused a loss of Rs 1,000 crore to the industry.

(With inputs from Unni K Warrier)

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