After the lockdown that was imposed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, theatres across the nation have resumed business but at a much diminished rate. However, despite the low footfalls and general audience reticence to venture into theatres there have been filmmakers taking a gamble and releasing their films on the big screen. After Roohi the next big ticket Bollywood venture to hit screens is the John Abraham – Emraan Hashmi starrer Mumbai Saga. Directed by Sanjay Gupta the film has opted for a theatrical release over an OTT release despite the Covid-19 virus resurfacing. Speaking exclusively to Bollywood Hungama, Mumbai Saga producer Bhushan Kumar says that it wasn’t an easy decision to opt for a theatrical release. However, the head-honcho of T-Series says that it was his moral obligation to do so.
Explaining his views on why a theatrical release of Mumbai Saga was important Bhushan Kumar says, “The main idea behind this was that at T-Series we are doing so many films every year, and it was my moral responsibility to support the theatre business as well. If I keep on thinking, that I will make some money and give it to OTT, but at the same time I have to support theatre business also. Besides Mumbai Saga is a massy film so that’s why we took a call. We are making so many films, and we have made great profits in earlier films, now times are bad so we should explore and go for a theatrical release no matter what we face.”
Ask him about the dire hit the film’s business will take due to the resurgence of the Covid-19 virus and he continues, “Unfortunately, we released the film and so many places have shut down because of Covid, we understand that this isn’t in anyone’s hand so obviously it will hit the collections for sure. But right now I am not looking at the collections. Right now even if I earn Rs. 2 or 2.50 cr. at the box office I will look at it like we have earned Rs. 20 cr. Right now the main objective is to get people back to theatres with safety of course. We have to redevelop the theatre going culture among the audience and it will take time. But for that we will have to release films in theatres, someone will have to take the risk. And that is what we are doing, if every filmmaker just looked at making his money and moving on it will not help. So right now I am very happy with whatever business our film does.”
While Bhushan Kumar, who will be releasing two more film in theatres viz. Saina and Koi Jaane Na says that he is optimistic about theatrical releases he urges the media and other filmmakers to lend their support as well. “I would also request the media, to not judge a film by the collections alone, but instead take into consideration the situation we are releasing in and the boldness of the producer, who without thinking about losses is going ahead to build this theatre medium again. We do not want theatre business to end, and for that we have to support it.”