Traditionally, it’s the end of the year that sees big releases queuing up at the box office. The beginning of the year, on the other hand, is comparatively a quieter time in Bollywood. Except, the calendar for 2015 is starting to look very different.
It’s getting crowded
Sheer coincidence has seen a bunch of big releases — originally slated for end-2014 — move to early next year. The Ranbir Kapoor and Anushka Sharma-starrer, Bombay Velvet, was slated to release on November 28, but with a significant amount of VFX work pending, it will apparently release in May, 2015. Similarly, the John Abraham-starrer Welcome Back was set to release alongside Aamir Khan’s PK on December 19; but with portions yet to be shot, it has a new date of January 23. Again, Arjun Kapoor-Sonakshi Sinha-starrer Tevar has moved from December 5 to January 9.
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The list doesn’t end there. Saif Ali Khan-Katrina Kaif starrer Phantom, Sushant Singh Rajput-starrer Detective Byomkesh Bakshy, and Ranbir-Arjun Rampal-starrer Roy have also been pushed to next year. Phantom’s director Kabir Khan says, “The release date got pushed as dates are decided by studios nowadays, so, I don’t take the final call.”
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Bad for business?
The combined budget for the big films, according to trade estimates, is already around `600-`700 cr (for the first six months). “Big clashes eat into almost 25per cent of the business for each release,” says exhibitor-distributor Akshaye Rathi. Trade analyst Amod Mehra adds, “The first six months are avoided due to several reasons — IPL (the Indian Premier League takes place around April-June) and school examinations, among others. If big films are still releasing, it shows their desperation.”