After a challenging 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic affected theatrical releases, the Indian film industry is pinning its hopes on 2021. Big and mid-scale films, with budgets ranging between ₹50 crore and ₹100 crore, are slated for theatrical releases this year.
Among the major films to be released this year are Akshay Kumar’s Sooryavanshi, Kabir Khan-directed 83, Santhosh Kumar KC’s spy thriller Bell Bottom, Salman Khan’s Radhe, John Abraham’s Satyameva Jayate 2, Tiger Shroff’s Heropanti 2, Ayushmann Khuranna’s Chandigarh Kare Aashiqui and Ajay Devgn’s Maidaan.
Bollywood is watching out for the Pongal release of Vijay’s Master to test the waters. However, the nationwide vaccination drive might boost audience’s confidence in going to the theatre to watch films.
The Indian film industry has some bottlenecks, however, to contend with when it comes to the theatrical release of films with the foremost among them being finances. A KPMG report has predicted a contract of 20 per cent in FY21 in films, besides TV and print.
Controversies such as the drugs probe in Bollywood, following the death of actor Sushant Singh Rajput, might have also dented the viewer’s perception of Bollywood. It remains to be seen if the film industry can tide over such crises.
However, some argue that audiences would like to go back to watching movies in theatres after watching films on digital platforms for almost a year and that Bollywood was also earlier plagued by controversies such as casting couch and the Me Too movement but still emerged unscathed from it.