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Movie bandh in Bollywood

Thanks to World Cup fever, March 2011 will see only a couple of small budget films hit theatres.

bollywood Updated: Feb 25, 2011 16:39 IST
Prashant Singh

As World Cup fever heats up, cricket has clearly hit Bollywood for a six. For the first time in B-town history, just a couple of small budget Hindi movies are scheduled to hit the theatres for the entire month of March this year. Anupam Kher-starrer Yeh Faasley will open on March 4. The movie marks the debut of model-turned-actor Tena Desae. Tigmanshu Dhulia’s Nana Patekar-starrer, Shaagird, too will release in March but the date is yet to be fixed.

Trade experts too are surprised. “But come to think of it, no filmmaker would like to take the big risk since everyone is glued to cricket, especially since it’s the World Cup that’s taking place in India,” says trade analyst Taran Adarsh. Besides, March is also the examination period for most school and college kids. “So, filmmakers have also backed out because kids and youngsters will surely stay away from movies.”

Not everyone agrees though. Kher feels no other releases in March can turn out to be a boon for his flick. “Big production houses can strategise their releases but completing a small budget film is an achievement in itself,” he says, adding filmgoers will still watch these films.

“Films have the capability to work at the box-office come rains or typhoons. Plus, cricket will be played the whole year,” adds Kher. Also, Priti Shahani of Reliance Pictures feels “the World Cup is an ideal time to release small movies.”

“Since big-budget movies stay away from the marquee, theatre owners can easily plan better show timings and give better showcase to the films,” says Shahani. Makers, however, are confident about that Shaagird’s “strong content” will draw viewers. Haasil director Tigmanshu Dhulia’s Shaagird will see actor Nana Patekar playing a quirky cop again after Ab Tak Chhappan.

Now, trade insiders are worried about the clashes in April. More than 18 films will hit the theatres in the month, about four films opening every week. Abhishek Bachchan has two releases, Dum Maaro Dum and Game. Bheja Fry 2 and Akshay Kumar’s Thank You are among the other big-ticket projects scheduled to release then.