As usual, this year big banner production houses have shied away from releasing films around the World Cup. The series lasts from February 19 to April 2, followed by the Indian Premiere League which lasts till May end.
Industry experts say this will be a blessing for small and medium budget films. Tanuj Garg, CEO, Balaji Motion Pictures says, “The IPL is a good window for the release of mid-sized high concept films. There’s not much happening in the entertainment space, giving these a fair chance to perform."
Balaji is slated to release Shorr on April 28 and Ragini MMS on May 12. Some bigger films like Dum Maro Dum (April 22), Thank You, Game, Love You Mr Kalakar are also reportedly releasing around this period.
Trade pundit Amod Mehra says, “The Khans (Salman, Shah Rukh and Aamir), Akshay Kumar and Hrithik Roshan won’t release their films as they don’t want to clash with the matches. That gives smaller films a chance to get more media coverage and better shows in theatres.” Mehra points out that for small films, getting critical acclaim helps them bargain for a good price for satellite rights.
Actor Vinay Pathak, whose film Bheja Fry 2 is releasing during this time, insists that people should have a choice of entertainment whether or not there’s a match happening.
Vikram Malhotra, COO, Viacom 18 Motion Picture who is releasing Shaitan and Tanu Weds Manu in March-April, says, “There was the India-South Africa series, now the World Cup, followed by IPL. People need something different and a film that’s projected well will attract an audience.” Malhotra had successfully released Love Sex Aur Dhoka during the IPL last year. He says, “It’s a myth that IPL draws audiences away from movies.”
Mehra agrees, adding that the cricket overkill will push audiences to the cinema halls, provided the films on offer excite them. He says, “Schools and colleges will go on holiday, so the films that releasing in April will benefit.”
Films releasing around World Cup and IPL
Feb 18: Saat Khoon Maaf
Feb 25: Tanu Weds Manu, Yeh Dooriyan
Also in Feb: Bhindi Bazaar Inc.
March 11: Shagird
Also in March: Run Bhola Run, Nauka Doobi, Tere Mere Phere
April 1: F. A.. L. T. U., Teen Thay Bhai, Game (initially slated to release on March 18)
April 8: Thank You
April 15: Haunted
April 22: Dum Maro Dum
April 29: Shorr
Also in April: Bheja Fry 2