The fact that many films are now opting for a direct-to-digital release has not been bad with exhibitors. They feel that producers are not supporting them in this crisis by releasing great movies like Gulabo Sitabo and Shakuntala Devi on OTT platforms. They have even expressed their disappointment to the filmmakers.
However, netizens have commented on the multiplex owners reminding them that they also made individual screens suffer. Some even advised them to turn to the grocery business as they have become adept at selling popcorn for Rs 350, samosas for Rs 150 and water for Rs 100.
In reaction to this, Mohan Umrotkar, CEO of Carnival Cinemas, said: "You pay not only for the food but also for the environment. It is a business model. We do not earn much from ticket sales as that money is divided between the government, the distributors, and us. So food is an integral part of our business. " He explained that this is all the owners have, plus expenses like rent and overhead, as opposed to producers who can monetize the film's satellite, digital and music rights. While, in reality, there is very little left for theater owners.
Akshay Rathi, a theater owner in Nagpur, explains that choosing a multiplex or a single screen has a lot to do with consumer spending power. He says: "The difference between the two is similar to choosing between a five-star hotel and a dhaba on the road. And we have billionaires and commoners in our country. He is confident that with the pandemic and the ongoing recession, the screens Unique will see better days.
Meanwhile, Raj Bhansal, owner of a Jaipur multiplex, thinks viewers can go back to theaters by showing them incentives like affordable ticket fares, free coupons, and discounts on snacks and drinks.