Veteran C.P. Berar exhibitor Pramod Munot reacted to our story dated 2nd April, 2020, about the scary prospects which await the film trade when India reopens after the lockdown.
His letter is reproduced hereunder:
In my personal opinion, you’re absolutely right in the final prediction — film industry will not be the same as before.
Economics shall definitely change whether we like it or not.
You are also right in saying that unless and until the top-line stars and technicians change their fixed charges, it will be a Herculean task for producers to make films.
The new norm of their sharing in the revenue receipts from box-office will have to be tried to let the rest of the sectors survive. The recent example of multiplexes not paying MGs (Minimum Guarantees) but sharing the revenue collected at the box-office shows a major change in the exhibition sector. Single-screen cinemas still suffer from the stigma of MGs.
Alternate entertainment is already here. New players will enter as they did some years back.
The conventional distributors have already vanished from the scene or converted themselves to become helping hands to corporates who are the all-India buyers of films.
Cinemas are seeing their transformation. The national chains of multiplexes have the financial support of their parent companies. Even with their better financial standing than the single-screen cinemas, their business acumen prompts them to rush to the government every now and then for some financial reprieve or the other. Single-screen cinemas lag behind.
Old-time large-capacity single-screen cinemas are also waning. And they are giving way to multiple screens. I feel that unfortunately, single-screen cinemas do not have the financial capacity to take up the new challenges of keeping their cinemas in proper health that may/will be required post-coronavirus phase.
It is obvious that the government will enforce new regulations for places where people assemble in large numbers. Already, the fire-fighting regulations are increasing the budgets — both, in capital investment and maintenance.
If some norm of social distancing is enforced on cinemas and multiplexes, the capacities will obviously reduce. This will result in lower revenues or higher tickets rates.
Indeed, a very apt title to your article — SCARY PROSPECTS…
Panchsheel Cinema, Nagpur.