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A look back at the films that unlocked theatres in 2021

A look back at the films that unlocked theatres in 2021

Even with pandemic restrictions in place, certain production hours took the leap to release their films on the big screen

The last two years have been difficult for the Indian film industry but slowly, the tide is turning with long-delayed mega-budget films returning to the big screen to regale audiences and spread some good cheer among the exhibitors. Here is a look back at some of the films that bravely unlocked the theatres in 2021.

Bellbottom: Pooja Entertainment was not only the first production house to shoot and complete an entire film in the pandemic but also took the lead to unlock theatres at a time when major films were either being streamed on OTT platforms or being withheld from a theatrical release. As a gesture of solidarity with exhibitors and cinema owners, Pooja Entertainment released the Akshay Kumar starrer ‘Bellbottom’ on 19th August, 2021 to welcome audiences once again to cinema halls even though the theatres had then opened at just 50 percent capacity. The film went on to make box-office history and also garnered much love from fans after its OTT premiere.

Sooryavanshi: This Akshay Kumar and Katrina Kaif starrer was finally released on 5th November 2021 after many pandemics imposed delays. The crew had also faced many changes during the shoot owing to strict, COVID-19 norms but belied all fears of a lukewarm response on its release by drawing eager audiences in droves to the theatres. The cop drama is also trending currently on an OTT platform. The film’s success has generated hope for long-delayed films like `83’ which will finally be released this month after multiple delays.

Antim: The Final Truth: Legions of fans who always turn up to support a Salman Khan release did not disappoint when they showed up in theatres once again on 26 November 2021 to watch his latest film ‘Antim.’ The Mahesh Manjrekar directorial was originally headed towards an OTT release but then chose the theatrical route. Amid all the debate about whether the pandemic has finally put an end to the ‘star system’, the enduring appeal of box-office magnets like Salman and their ability to draw massive crowds to theatres remains unchallenged. The film is an adaptation of the Marathi film ‘Mulshi Pattern’, and also stars Aayush Sharma and Mahima Makwana.

83: This film has waited for a long time to hit the big screen and judging from the audience reaction, the wait was worth it! Despite concerns over Omicron, new curbs on gatherings and fresh pandemic protocols, the film is holding strong at the box office. Starring Ranveer Singh in a performance that will go down in history as one of the greatest ever and a fantastic ensemble cast, the Kabir Khan directorial is making audiences laugh, cry and relive the glorious moments of India’s first World Cup win.

Spiderman: No Way Home: This film is now officially the biggest film of the year and got the second biggest ever opening in the history of Hollywood releases in India. It also enjoyed the second busiest advance ticket sales in India and at the last count, had globally broken post-pandemic records grossing $587 million in the first weekend. The film continues to go house-full in several parts of the country.

The Jon Watts directoria stars Tom Holland alongside Zendaya, Benedict Cumberbatch, Jacob Batalon, Jon Favreau, Marisa Tomei, J. B. Smoove, Benedict Wong, Jamie Foxx, Alfred Molina, Willem Dafoe, Thomas Haden Church, and Rhys Ifans.