It is perhaps the most-awaited event this year, and two billion people across the globe are expected to watch it on television. But, trying to give competition to the April 29 royal wedding of UK’s Prince William, 28 with Kate Middleton,29 are six Bollywood releases on the same day. While the live broadcasters of the royal event are confident of making a killing, cinema owners claim nothing beats Bollywood in India.
BBC Entertainment will telecast the ceremony live in India 12.30pm onwards and also showcase the pre-wedding preparations. “We expect a huge viewership,” says Deepak Shourie, director, South Asia. The ad rates during the telecast have also hit the roof, with big brands making a beeline.
But that doesn’t upset the makers of six Bollywood films worth Rs 35crore, which will hit theatres the same Friday. They say the films will steal the thunder from the royal wedding, as it is too ‘foreign’ an affair for Indians to enjoy.
“Yes, people will be interested in the wedding, but it’s not likely to affect the movies,” says Girish Johar of Balaji, producers of the Rs 10 crore film, Shor in the City. “The audience for a Govinda movie is very different, it won’t affect us,” says Jagmohan Mundhra, director of Naughty@40 . Even multiplexes aren’t bothered about the wedding hype. “It’s the royal wedding and not the India-Pakistan match,” says Jayendra Banerjee of Satyam Cinemas.
Viewers, however, don’t want to miss out on the royal spectacle. “It’s a once-in-a-lifetime watch and there’s no way I will pass it for a movie,” says Ria Jha, a DU student.