Second shows revive Mollywood’s fortunes

A gradual return to good times is round the corner, say theatre owners

The decision to permit second shows seems to have revived the fortunes of Malayalam film industry that was hit hard by the pandemic crisis.

A gradual return to the good times is round the corner going by the feedback from theatre owners and the producers. “The release of Mammootty’s The Priest, which was the first movie that reached the screens after the authorities reinstated second shows, was the turning point. The family audience has come back to the theatres after long,” said M.C. Bobby, former general secretary of the Film Exhibitors’ United Organisation of Kerala.

The government had permitted only three shows after the cinemas were permitted to resume operations following the pandemic relaxations. However, the collections failed to touch expected figures as the Kerala Film Chamber of Commerce pointed out that the footfalls will not go up without the permission to screen second shows.

Total collection

“We are now getting 50% of the total collections for the three shows in the daytime from the second show. If ₹20,000 was the combined revenue from the three shows, a second show is giving us collections to the tune of ₹10,000,” said Mr. Bobby.

B. Rakesh, treasurer of the Kerala Film Producers’ Association (KFPA), said that The Priest had earned about ₹6 crore share for the producer. “It’s success has rekindled hopes in the industry that was reeling under the financial crisis induced by the pandemic,” he said.

The release of nearly 80 movies was affected as cinemas had remained shut in view of the health crisis. “Of these, 30 movies had either reached cinemas or opted for a digital premiere. The collections improved only after the second shows were reinstated," said Mr. Rakesh.

As per the estimates by KFPA, the remaining movies will have its release in April and May. Some of the forthcoming releases include Martin Prakkat’s Nayattu; Chaturmukham by Ranjit Kamala Sankar and Salil V; Mahesh Narayanan’s Malik; Priyadarshan’s Marakkar: Arabikadalinte Simham; and Srinath Rajendran’s Kurup.

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