It would be safe to say that the life of theatres is back as Sooryavanshi has managed to bring in people back and that too in huge numbers. The film has managed to become the first film to cross 100 crores after pre-pandemic era, Tanhaji back in January 2020.
However, with this happening, a special measure was taken to keep in mind COVID-19 norms apart from managing footfalls. Reports suggest a special agency has been in play to pay surprise checks in theatres. The agency has been assigned to check if the number of tickets sold is the same as the actual admits. A source says, "There are some theatres, especially in interiors etc, who fudge numbers and allow more admits than they actually show to the producer".
This is how it has been laid out:
1) Release plan with cinema name and location with number of shows has been shared with the agency.
2) A Vigilance Officer Executive has been deputed to a respective territory with a team of 6-7 people for each territory.
3) Surprise visits (even Team 'Sooryavanshi' is not in the loop where those are being carried out) by those teams to cinemas are conducted. The officers actually purchase tickets to watch the film and while the scenes are in motion, they count the admits.
4) Post visiting cinemas, the Vigilance Officer Executive sends a detailed report of the checks to the makers on WhatsApp irrespective of whether it is a clean report or an adverse one.
5) Once the report from the Vigilance Officer is received, Reliance Entertainment contacts either the Owner/Manager of the cinema who has flouted financial ethics or even the COVID SOPs (as some theatres have been found to be admitting more than than the official permit of today's times), they are charged 100 per cent of their hall's capacity and also levied penalty on case to case basis.
ETimes contacted Reliance Entertainment's distribution consultant, Suniel Wadhwa, who explained saying, "We engaged a professional agency to do the inspection of our movie 'Sooryavanshi' across all India cinemas for the first time. We have come across many cinemas that have been under-reporting and pilferage/leakages have been observed by excess audiences- but under-reported DCR. We have had cases of more admits than the permissible capacity of 50 per cent; some cinemas under this limit were operating to the tune of even 100 per cent. Such cinemas have been charged penalties and the movie was terminated in their premises with immediate effect".
"Going forward, we will continue to engage a professional agency to conduct inspections for our universal films," Wadhwa signed off.