IPL breaks records, films start to get delayed: Will IPL and Lok Sabha elections be double whammy for films in 2024? - Hindustan Times

IPL breaks records, films start to get delayed: Will IPL and Lok Sabha elections be double whammy for films in 2024?

Apr 12, 2024 08:37 AM IST

We get talking to the industry on whether 2024 can see films getting affected because of two other major events- IPL and elections.

lndian Premiere League for sure enjoys a loyal fan following, but what has happened this time has left everyone surprised. The cricket tournament has recorded its highest-ever viewership for the first ten matches at a staggering 350 million viewers, according to data released by a streaming platform.

IPL has broken viewership records. Meanwhile, Kalki 2898 AD might get delayed
IPL has broken viewership records. Meanwhile, Kalki 2898 AD might get delayed

And if that wasn’t enough, even the Lok Sabha elections are happening this year. 2024 is therefore jam packed, leading to doubts whether films are going to be taking the maximum hit. There are murmurs that Prabhas-Deepika Padukone’s film Kalki 2898 AD might not make it on time to theatres on May 9. Exhibitor Akshaye Rathi shares, “While there’s no official word from the makers, I have been hearing the film might be shifted to May 30 or Dushhera.”

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Trade analyst Taran Adarsh says IPL won’t have an impact on films, “But as far as elections are concerned, as the election fever heats up and the dates are out, it will definitely impact box office numbers. As of now, because only the campaigning is going on, people are talking about it but the impact won’t be there.”

In fact, in the next two months, about 15 films are lined up for a release, including Do Aur Do Pyaar and Baby John. Adarsh fees that many makers avoid releasing their films in this period. “IPL semi finals and finals will definitely hamper BO prospects. There have been films in the past which became successful during IPL, but they were always something like event or big star films that made the people go out,” he adds.

Director Amit Sharma, whose film Maidaan released on Eid yesterday, is confident that people will step out for it, “Bola jaaye toh elections can affect films, but it is a long weekend right now, that’s the reason producers took the call to release Maidaan now. People today want to watch good cinema, and even exams are over for school student. People will want to go out.”

The reason why filmmakers get apprehensive about this period is also because this time, the opportunities to promote will also lessen. Varun Gupta, who has handled marketing for films such as Ranbir Kapoor’s Animal and Baahubali, quips, “Just see the number of viewers on any IPL match, easily around 2 crores every match, that’s the number of people you need for a film to touch 200-300 crores. There is a lot of overlap, as a lot of the IPL audience is also the film going audience. Because they are watching IPL every day, films are not their priority, as they come and go every week, IPL happened once a year. There’s not a single big film rleasing after Eid until IPL is over. In fact, in this entire year, there’s only Singham Again, Bhool Bhulaiyaa 3, Sitare Zameen Par, Baby John, that’s it!”

IPL, he adds, still allows him to promote films, “Hoardings and ads are all taken over for elections. IPL affects walk in audience, but gives chance to promote, but elections let people vote in the morning and be free the rest of the day. It is indeed a double whammy. Producers are avoiding this period.”

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    Rishabh Suri writes for the daily Entertainment & Lifestyle supplement HT City. From Bollywood to Hollywood, from Telugu, Tamil, Malayalam films, to OTT and television- he covers it all.

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