The impact on single screens is far worse than multiplexes. The latter have the option of juggling different films and at least have some screens running.
Single screens that have banked on Padmaavat for a long weekend are finding it better to suspend operations rather than run another movie. Ancillary revenues from food and beverage sales are also expected to take a hit.
Security personnel stand guard outside a cinema house after the release of the film
“It makes more sense to just not open for business today. The fear psychosis is preventing people from going to watch the film in areas of Delhi as well. There is no major release from Bollywood, Hollywood or regional cinema this week. There is practically no new film of note till Pad Man releases on February 9,” says Shaaminder Malik, an independent distributor and trade analyst.
Instances of vandalism in north India over Padmaavat have resulted in damage to property. Two Cinepolis properties find themselves with torn screens even before the film was released. Similar cases have been reported in cities like Ahmedabad.
“A screen costs between Rs 200,000 and Rs 500,000. These multiplexes will incur those losses too. Insurance notwithstanding, these screens will not be functional,” Malik adds.
The threat of vandalism has prompted certain multiplex owners to close for the weekend. Early estimates peg the premier day footfalls from the remaining markets to be in the range of 2.5-2.8 million.
“Since the film’s theme is popular in the southern states, it should do well there, especially in the second half of the day. It has released in Tamil and Telugu as well and there should be decent collections in these versions. Maharashtra, too, will contribute. Footfalls could touch 3 million, but it is safe to say 2.5-2.8 million will have seen the film by Republic Day,” says another distributor.
The film made around Rs 50 million from paid preview shows on Wednesday. Made at a cost of Rs 1.3 billion, Padmaavat needs to earn at least Rs 2.7 billion to break even and book profits at the theatre level.