Unlock 1 Hint that Cinema Halls may Open in July-August 2020

Unlock 1 has started in India and business and work are returning to normalcy although in a slow manner. There are three phases in Unlock 1 as per Govt guidelines. Cinema halls and theatres fall in phase III.

In this month of June, Phase I activities are opened with necessary safety precautions. The business and activities that fall in Phase II will be considered and may open in the month of July. And it means the activities which fall under Phase III should open by the end of July or maybe by August 2020.

Again, there is a condition given that proper assessment and review will be done. Phase III review will be done in mid of July or by the end of July, as per what we have understood so far.

It is good news and also bad news for everyone related to the entertainment industry especially the exhibition sector. The good news is that there is some clarity from the Govt of India now. The bad news is that theatres will remain closed in the month of June and most of July (if not the whole month of July).

Again good part is that now everyone, be it producers, distributors, and exhibitors can make a plan. Those producers who are in stress to repay the loans and their films are ready for the release can think of releasing films on the OTT platform as it is still another 2 months away from cinema halls getting opened in India. It is still more than 8 long weeks. 

And for those makers whose films are ready and can wait for another 2-3 months, can wait and watch now. There is no need to hurry and release the films directly on the digital medium. If theatres open in August, then makers can release their film by mid of August onward. We might see the first big release on Independence Day weekend now. 

No doubt biggies will be vying for Independence Day, 2nd October, Diwali, Christmas, and New Year weekend now. Already many films whose shooting is still not completed may shift their release to next year. Practically we don't see any film whose major portion of shooting is still left, releasing in 2020.

After the announcement of Unlock I and guidelines on different phases of it, we might see a domino effect in the coming days. Many films might make an official announcement of going digital now. It looks tough that few of the makers will wait for another 2-3 months as interest on the loans will keep increasing. 

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