Multiplex screens came back to life on Friday, but not so the ticket counters.
Even as Kal Kissne Dekha became the first Bollywood movie to release after more than two months, multiplexes across the National Capital Region registered only a marginal footfall.
Cinemas across the country had gone without new releases for the last two months, following a standoff between multiplexes and film producers over profit sharing.
“Although we have not analysed the day’s figures yet, footfalls in our theatres have slightly improved,” said Prabjeet Singh, creative head, Satyam Cinemas.
“We are getting more visitors,” said Rahul Kaushal, manager of PVR Rivoli. “However, it is nothing significant. Perhaps that has to do with Kal Kissne Dekha being a low-budget film with no stars.”
Since most multiplexes in Delhi and NCR are housed in malls, retailers were running up losses, as the movie crowd dried out.
However, with several big releases, such as Love Aaj Kal, New York and Kambakkht Ishq, lined up, mall owners are now hopeful of regaining lost ground.
“Although Kal Kissne Dekha has a weak cast, we witnessed a 33 per cent increase in visitors on Friday. The future looks bright,” said Baljit Singh, president, MGF Mall, Gurgaon.
Several movie buffs confessed they had stopped visiting malls, as new movies were not releasing.
“I visited the Metropolitan Mall today after a gap of more than two weeks. Since no movies were releasing, I did not have a reason to come here,” said Vikrant Vats, a resident of Sector 14, Gurgaon.
Teenagers, Akshay Sharma and Shasaka Rana, who had come to PVR Spice Mall in Noida to watch Angels & Demons, said, “We did not want to watch the same old films. So, we started going to amusements parks and doing other things. However, we are now glad to be back at the mall.”
Multiplex owners, however, said there would not be a flood of new releases.
“The film producers are being cautious. They fear
that, as many films are lined up, there will be cut-throat competition,” said Anant Verma, operations head,