Theater attendance plunges after Cov scare, lack of content | Kolkata News

KOLKATA: After seeing a resurgence in box office numbers, exhibitors in Kolkata fear a crisis in Tollywood. While some believe the rise in Covid numbers is a reason for low attendance, the majority of exhibitors blame the quality of content.
INOX regional manager Amitava Guha Thakurta said attendance has been down over the past two weeks. “We’re not getting the booming numbers like we did for ‘Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2’. It’s mainly because of the content,” he said.
According Navin Chowkhani, box office receipts for its Navina cinema plunged for the same reason. The situation is the same in the New Kingdom. According to Amit Sengupta, the director of Humayun Properties who runs New Empire, collections are now hovering around 35% to 40%. “We recorded 80% occupancy during the holidays when ‘Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2’ was released. After that, ‘Vikram’ and ‘Major’ were released. These, as well as ‘Jugjugg Jeeyo‘, tanked at the box office. The occupancy rate fell to 35% to 40%,” Sengupta said. He also points out that business in the New Market area is rather sluggish now. “People come on weekends but most of them are window shopping. Some drop by for a bite to eat and hang out with friends,” he added.
“The collections have plunged in the last fortnight. The maximum participation rate is now 20%,” said Menokathe owner of Pranab Kumar Roy. But he doesn’t attribute it to the Covid surge. “If that were the case, we wouldn’t have seen such crowds in shopping malls, trams and buses. The last time we had good content was for ‘Belashuru’ and ‘Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2’. The collections of ‘Jurassic World Dominion’ were partly good. “Jugjugg Jeeyo” was a dismal failure. ‘Samrat Prithviraj’ had no impact. We can no longer rely on Bollywood collections,” he said.
“If the content is good, people will wear masks and still come. It happened with “Tonic” and the “Spiderman” franchise. There might be a small drop due to Covid, but the collections certainly won’t drop to 20% just because of this increase,” Roy added.
In INOX properties, viewers are “asked to hide”. “But it’s not mandatory for them. However, our staff is masked and we are not letting our guard down. We are following all the protocols that we used to follow in 2020,” Guha Thakurta added.

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