The deferred Ayodhya verdict has hit Bollywood. After discussions with his co-producer Eros, actors Ranbir Kapoor and Priyanka Chopra, and distributors and exhibitors, Sajid Nadiadwala had decided to forgo the October 24 solo release for Anjaana Anjaani and clash it with Robot on October 1. He admits it wasn’t an easy decision to make, considering the Commonwealth Games begin two days later, and they faced competition from Robot.
“We consoled ourselves with the fact that we had an extra week to promote the film. And hoped that what we might lose to Rajni down South, we would gain up North. The intentions were good,” says Nadiadwala, only to now learn that the verdict has been deferred to October 28. “The matter has moved from the High Court to the Supreme Court, all we can do is pray. Whether it’s a riot, an earthquake or a landmark judgement, it’s the entertainment industry that takes the first hit,” he says.
Nadiadwala faced the same situation with Judwaa in 1997. “The advance booking counters had opened when I cancelled the release on Tuesday. The film opened a month-and-a-half later and ran for 75 weeks. May be it’ll be the same with this film.”
But Anjaana Anjaani isn’t as ‘hot’ as Judwaa or the more recent Housefull. “A romance takes time to grow,” he says. Moreover, Anjaana Anjaani’s westernised look could further limit its appeal in the interiors. “They said the rustic Dabangg wouldn’t work overseas but it’s done great business in the UK and the US,” he says.
Kumar Mangat’s Aakrosh was first pushed from October 1 to October 8, and then to October 15 following censor problems. Says Mangat, “We’ll use the time to promote the film better.”