NEW DELHI: Punjabi comedy-drama Chal Mera Putt 2 maintained its stronghold at the box office, making more ??14.50 crore in four weeks. The film, starring Amrinder Gill, Simi Chahal and Garry Sandhu in the lead roles, was released on March 13, 2020 but was hit hard due to the outbreak of the covid-19 pandemic. It was reissued worldwide on August 27, 2021.
Box Office India commercial website said the film would have passed the milestone ??20 crore mark under ordinary circumstances, but will have to settle for about ??17 crore, given current restrictions on seat occupancy and show times.
It should be noted that the much-needed green shoots for the Indian film industry after the second wave of covid come from smaller regional language films that do not boast big stars. The Punjabi film Puaada had made box office collections of ??4 crore in the first eight days of the August release.
Box Office India had pointed out that Puaada was a record for lead actor Ammy Virk in overseas markets such as the UK and New Zealand. In the first, it became the fifth highest Punjabi film ever seen last month with £ 84,000. The restrictions in Canada resulted in a loss of $ 75,000, but the film still made a whopping $ 275,000.
Certainly, the small film industries in regional languages such as Marathi, Bengali or Punjabi which do not boast of large budgets for Hindi, Tamil and Telugu cinema, are bleeding with the pandemic which has resulted in losses of ??200-300 crore, according to film trade experts. For these industries, several projects are blocked with an increase in interest charges. In addition, films in these languages are generally not picked up by the biggest streaming platforms which prefer to buy content in the main southern languages which attract the most.
Producers have put all future plans on hold, without lighting new films green, with the biggest worry being whether theaters will allocate adequate presentation to these niche offerings after the pandemic.
Moreover, unlike Bollywood, the Marathi, Bengali, and Punjabi industries are mostly unorganized, relying on individual producers rather than established companies.
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