Swine flu hits movie biz hard

MUMBAI: After Pune, the Maharashtra government has ordered multiplex and theatre owners of Mumbai, Thane and Navi Mumbai to keep their shutters down till Monday due to the swine flu scare.

Movies that were slated to release this Friday - UTV Motion Pictures‘ Kaminey and Indian Film

Company‘s Life Partner - will release only on Monday next in Mumbai and its suburbs.

Says UTV Motion Pictures CEO Siddharth Roy Kapur, "We are going ahead with the worldwide release of Kaminey as per schedule. In Mumbai, we are following the government directives and will release the film as and when cinemas are permitted to screen."

This weekend would have been ideal for box office as the collections may have soared with the two big films and national holiday on 15 August. Love Aaj Kal has been already ruling at the box office.

As per industry estimates, this shutdown would translate into a loss of approximately Rs 310- 350 million.

"Since the swine flu scare, footfalls had started reducing but since the last two days, we have seen just between five to seven per cent occupancy," Fun Cinemas CEO Vishal Kapur tells

Meanwhile, shares of listed multiplex companies dipped on news that cinema theatres would down their shutters due to swine flu scare. Shares of PVR declined by 7 per cent to close at Rs 111, Inox fell 3.22 per cent to Rs 51.05, Cinemax by 2.81 per cent to Rs 51.95 and Fame India 1.80 per cent to Rs 19.10 on the BSE.

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