LIGHTING UP THE SCREENS
India Today|January 10, 2021
Akshay Kumar brought audiences back to the theatres with the release of his BellBottom and then later Sooryavanshi; and Sanya Malhotra entertained audiences at home with two fine performances in Pagglait and Meenakshi Sundareshwar, both released on OTT platforms
Suhani Singh

The year 2021 was meant to mark the revival of cinemas, but it was only in November that the theatrical business of Hindi cinema began to bounce back and one man was at the centre of it all—Akshay Kumar. The actor was the first to take a leap of faith and had BellBottom release in cinemas in August. It was a plucky move, given that cinemas in Maharashtra were still shut and theatres in many states were operating at 50 per cent occupancy. The film managed Rs 32 crore, a lowly mark for a Kumar film, but for the actor the effort was more meaningful.

Tamil actor Vijay had done so earlier in January with the release of Master which collected a massive Rs 162.5 crore, the majority of its earnings coming from Tamil Nadu alone. The industry in the South was recovering well with Telugu films like Krack, Jathi Ratnalu, Uppena and Vakeel Saab faring well in the first four months, a sign that audiences were eager to make film watching a communal experience again. Then came the deadly second wave of Covid-19 and theatre owners were, once again, reeling under the lockdown.

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