The film trade in general, including in particular the Bombay film trade, is super-excited that the public has started returning to the cinemas in a big way. No, it is not Bell Bottom and Chehre, which have given them reason to rejoice but rather two Punjabi films — Puaada and Chal Mera Putt 2. That’s because while the two Hindi films, released in cinemas after the second lockdown, did not attract heavy crowds on the opening day (and in the case of Bell Bottom, throughout the first week), the two Punjabi films, which opened in East Punjab circuit, have seen crowds thronging the cinemas. Puaada opened in only 50 cinemas in the circuit while Chal Mera Putt 2 (which has been revived today, August 27, after it was released 17 months back and ran then for just 3-4 days, after which the pandemic lockdown was announced) opened today in 130 cinemas. The first day’s collections of Puaada in East Punjab totalled Rs. 42 lakh while for all-India (including Delhi etc.), the total for the first day was Rs. 50 lakh. Going by the collections of the morning, afternoon and evening shows of Chal Mera Putt 2 today, it is very likely that the film would net Rs. 70 lakh or even more, from 130 cinemas. Both the opening-day figures are fantastic, proving that people are more than willing to come to the cinemas provided, of course, they like the film.

Aman Gill, one of the producers of Puaada, told Information, “I’m getting so many phone calls from people in the trade, expressing joy that the audience is returning to the cinemas for my film as well as for Chal Mera Putt 2. Some are even telling me that I should have released my film after Chal Mera Putt 2 so that I could reap the advantage of the public being more open to watching films on the big screen. But my logic is different. At this juncture, it doesn’t make a difference whether my film gets the benefit of someone else’s already-released film or someone else’s film reaps the benefit of my released film. We all have to work towards the common goal of getting the public back to the cinemas. That should be our primary concern. Besides, even though I may end up losing a couple of crores by way of lesser shares because there were fewer cinemas which had reopened on 12th August when my film opened as compared to today (27th August) when Chal Mera Putt 2 has opened, my film will at least go down in history as the first Punjabi film to release after 17 months of lockdown.”