Coverage of Seven Wald’s decision to temporarily close all of its UK cinemas focuses on the potential impact on employees and the potential long-term consequences of this medium.
But the future of Bollywood in the UK looks bleak in the near future, as Seven Wald’s venues offer more than half the screenings in Bollywood, which offer 40 to 50 different films a year. The possibility of tax cuts in the UK is being felt in Mumbai, where the industry relies heavily on the region for most of its overseas income.
Vikram Malhotra, CEO of production company Abundantia Entertainment, says, “Sivanwald has been instrumental in bringing Indian films to the UK, including Toilet: A Love Story and Shakuntala Devi.” This is an unprecedented situation and will definitely affect revenue from overseas markets as Synoworld operates impractically.
“After the Indian cinema industry, theatrical releases have begun to make a comeback, and given the importance of the UK market to overseas businesses, the loss of Snowworld will be widely felt across the industry.”
Twenty years ago, the distribution of Bollywood in the UK was on the rise. If you wanted to catch the latest movie, you had to get a copy of the grain in a video shop torn between halal butchers and vegetable markets in the country’s major cities. That all changed with the rise of multiplexes in the late ’90s, which saw new ways for cinemas to move beyond the Hollywood mainstream to expand their horizons and entice new audiences.
Sivanwald was still in its infancy, with only 14 locations when two Bollywood production companies approached him about showing his films. It was a great experience for the brand, but many of its cinemas, located in conflict zones, have a thriving market on their doorstep. And with 20 screens available, a venue can easily afford to save a screen in a quiet midweek evening.
The move comes on the heels of a day of big-budget Bollywood blockbusters for the big screen, when stars like Shah Rukh Khan were at their peak and his films brought a new surprise to Bollywood fans. Marvel made the adventure.
“At the time, there were no Bollywood movies being released in the UK, so we took the opportunity and the movies started playing in two locations,” says Stuart Crane, head of film programming at Snowworld. The show has seemed a bit unfocused in recent episodes, but it soon became clear that it was an audience that had been under discussion for some time. We would have weekends where our first three movies in these theaters were all Bollywood movies, and would make a lot more movies than most Hollywood products.
“I think most of the Bollywood companies at the moment are struggling to make and release movies in general. Even when we reopened in July, we couldn’t get any of the back catalog movies because most of the company’s employees were on furlough, or just shut down.
The UK Diaspora became an unexpected gold mill for Cinworld, and in the early 2000’s, Bollywood movies made up 20% of Cinworld’s screens. Its locations were Feltham and Alford, two of Europe’s top cinemas for Bollywood titles, and Seanworld began hosting starred premieres.
Soon, Bollywood movies are appearing on the heels of Hollywood blockbusters in the top 10 of the box office. At its peak, in 2010, my name is Khan played in more than a third of the screens in its opening week, which grossed 2. 62.6 million at the UK box office.
“That’s the kind of number you’d expect from a miracle movie,” says Crane. “Even now, especially during Eid and Diwali, you can see a big Bollywood movie run more than any other Hollywood movie and we are putting Bollywood movies on the big screens.”
With Bollywood legend Amitabh Bachchan ignoring cinema, including actor Gulaba Setbo, and numerous anticipated recent releases to go live streaming services, many in the industry fear that Bollywood in its pre-code days Will struggle to step abroad.
Asim Abbasi’s film Cake looked to China for more than half of the UK’s screenings. “I don’t think other cinemas offer so many alternatives that it will definitely have a direct impact on Bollywood movies and when you get an epidemic, with fees and marketing costs in the UK Releasing a film becomes a very difficult proposition. “
• This article was modified on October 9, 2020. An earlier version had said that the New World cinemas were closed until April, but in fact no date has been set for reopening. Synoworld Response was also added to the list of Bollywood movies available.
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