The Babri Masjid verdict, scheduled for this Friday, has given film-makers cold feet. Two mega budget films,
and Robot, earlier scheduled for a release this Friday, have been postponed to October 1.
Sajid Nadiadwala, the producer of Priyanka Chopra-Ranbir Kapoor starrer
, says, “The Ayodhya issue is much bigger, and that needs to be respected. Ranbir addressed the issue with me, and we decided to postpone the release date. The film celebrates life, and releasing it on a peaceful day would be preferred.”
Both Ranbir and Priyanka had expressed similar views on a visit to Delhi last week. “Unfortunately, our film is opening on the same date (as that of the verdict),” they had said then.
The makers of
, too, went the same route. “We are definitely releasing our film on October 1 now,” says Shankar, the film’s director.
Those from the film fraternity support the move wholeheartedly. “It is justified for the producers to do so, as a film’s fate depends on the mood of the people at the time of its release. Petrified people don’t think of entertainment,” says film-maker Mahesh Bhatt. “It is a wise decision,” says film-maker Pritish Nandy. Bollywood trade analyst Taran Adarsh explains, “Releasing it on the same date would have been risky. If people don’t step out, it would jeopardise the film’s business.” However, film critic Anupama Chopra says, “It’s a tough decision, given the monetary losses.”
Cinema halls, meanwhile, are disheartened with the decision to postpone the big releases, since the month will now not end on a revenue-earning note. “
’s fever is fading. We were looking at
to set the cash registers ringing, but now the month-end looks dull,” says Gautam Dutta of PVR Cinemas. “Now
will have to share screen space with
on October 1,” says Shirish Handa of Fun Cinemas.