Padmavati might as well be deemed controversy’s child. Throughout 2017, the film was riddled in disputes. What started with vandalising the film’s sets in Jaipur and Kolhapur last year, was followed by multiple protests around the country and some serious prime time television drama. Even so, when the film will finally see a release is still uncertain.
But this delay has upset the film industry’s release schedule. While some films have pulled back their release dates, others have just chosen to wait for the next year to kick in.
Now, with the first week of December entirely free, multiplexes will showcase Kapil Sharma-starrer Firangi and Sunny Leone and Arbaaz Khan-starrer Tera Intezar. At the same time, Fukrey Returns has pulled its dates back by a week. It will now release on December 8 instead of December 15 — as the Fukrey team thought that Padmavati’s hype will be followed through its second week.
A still from Firangi
However, the delay seems to have proved beneficial for these films. Film analyst Omar Qureshi explains how this works. “What’s happened to the Padmavati release due to the delay is probably a windfall for some other movies. But these windfalls are only as good or bad as the movie itself,” he begins. “Firangi, Tera Intezar and Fukrey Returns will have to be good enough for people to want to spend both their holiday time and money on them,” he adds.
But it seems very unlikely that their revenue generation will match Padmavati’s potential. “Films like Firangi and Tera Intezar have a range. They earn Rs 20 crore-Rs 25 crore, not more than that. They don’t usually do business nearly as big banner films,” says Vinod Mirani, trade analyst.
Poster of Fukrey Returns
At the same time, this business will come as a result of no other choice at the theatre’s end. “It is an open slot. These films will earn a profit because theatres do not have many options as there is no film scheduled to release at the time,” says Rajesh Thadani, film distributor.
So Padmavati still has some bearing considering it is a big banner film. But even with that, Vinod thinks that the film itself won’t be able to recover its cost. “Padmavati is a huge production. For it to break even and even match the production money, it will have to make Rs 400 crore, which isn’t quite that easy,” he says.
This delay, however, seems to have helped Vidya Balan’s Tumhari Sulu. “It got a cute little run and managed to make neat profits,” says Omar.
Omar also fears that Padmavati will see a quick downfall even after its release. “It’s a blow for Padmavati though. Movies fight for ages to get a right release slot for them. It may be tough to get a clean run if this delaying continues, and could affect the box office collection of Padmavati,” he says, adding, “Yet if it doesn’t release quick enough the curiosity around the film may die down suddenly.”
But producer Ramesh Taurani doesn’t see why this will be all a butterfly effect. “I don’t think it should affect other films because the first three weeks of January are free and the team can release the film any time then,” he says.