After much promotion and talk, the Akshay Kumar starrer Bellbottom finally released today, August 19. Given the fact that theatres have been shut for a while now, owing to the Covid-19 pandemic, all eyes were glued to witness the spectacle of Bellbottom’s release on the big screen.
Reports suggest that Bellbottom opened to around 15% occupancy during morning and noon shows, but with the Covid-19 restrictions in place, mandating 50% occupancy in theatres, it comes to around 30%. The morning shows of the film witnessed meagre footfalls, with expectations that the same would increase over evening and night shows. But with most states having restrictions on late night shows these expectations might not translate into healthy footfalls.
Apart from the Covid-19 induced restrictions Bellbottom hit screens on a working weekday, resulting in a much lower than expected footfall ratio over morning and noon shows. However, trade circles have been lauding the producer and lead star of Bellbottom, Vashu Bhagnani and Akshay Kumar, for taking the first step to release a major Bollywood production in cinemas. In fact, the move to opt for a theatrical release is seen as a huge boost in reviving the exhibition sector.
Currently, Bellbottom that has released across approximately 1600 screens in India is expected to end its Day 1 business around the Rs. 3 cr. mark. But with the festivals of Onam and Rakshabandhan (Saturday and Sunday) over the weekend, expectations are that the business of the film will witness a spike in collections.