Gunjan Saxena movie
A still from Gunjan Saxena movieInstagram

The pandemic and the consequential lockdown around the global, hit the entertainment industry as the cinema theatres were shut and all production work came to a halt. However, bringing some respite to the anxiety, Spain has opened its doors to theatre-goers. 

The sequel of a Spanish film, Padre No Hay Más Que Uno 2 (Father There Is Only One 2) has done 8% better business so far during the pandemic times although lesser cinemas are operating in Spain now comapred to last year's when the film's first part was released.

The first part had grossed $15.9 million when released in 2019 during pre-Covid stage whereas the sequel, which opened on July 29, ended up at over $17 million. 

Citing Spanish industry's example, trade analyst Komal Nahta said in a statement, "If the same public sentiments were to be replicated in India when cinemas reopen, it would come as a lesson to all those Bollywood producers who rushed to premiere their films on OTT platforms, mainly on Amazon Prime, Disney+ Hotstar and Netflix. For, the example of Spain might prompt them to think that they erred in hurrying to release their films, bypassing theatrical release."

Rasika Dugal, Kunal Kemmu
Rasika Dugal, Kunal Kemmu in LootcaseInstagram

Interestingly, the number of cinemas currently open in Spain is 376 while for the original film, there were 539 cinemas. In other words, the sequel has done better than the first part, with 30% lesser cinemas, that too, with capacity restrictions ranging from 30% to 80% levels. It may also be mentioned here that Spain had one of the strictest lockdowns in Europe.

Talking further on this particular case, Nahta said, "It may be mentioned here that spurred on by the desire to help cinemas, producer Gutiérrez approached Comscore and its London-based partner, Gower Street, to do a study on the implications of releasing the film in July/August. The film was earlier scheduled to hit the screens on 7th August but its release was advanced to 29th July. Comscore and Gower Street predicted, in the midst of great uncertainty, that it would be ideal to release the sequel in cinemas. Bowfinger's Gutiérrez and Sony decided to go with the findings of the study, and the rest, as they say, is history."

Definitely, the divide of opinion on OTT vs Theatres continues but this Spanish example stands as a hopeful example for all of us wanting to swarm the theatres, once the cinemas reopen.