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Bollywood gears up for battle with IPL

Meenakshi Verma Ambwani New Delhi | Updated on March 12, 2018




A confident Bollywood is all set to take on the Indian Premier League (IPL) this season in the battle for audiences.

Unlike previous seasons, which saw an almost complete drying up of new movie releases during the nearly 2-month-long cricket tournament, this time around, a number of producers are scheduling movie releases during the IPL matches.

In fact, industry watchers estimate that as much as Rs 200-250 crore will be riding on new releases during April and May.

Trade Analyst Komal Nahata said that with more and more movies being released every year, small and mid-budget movies are jostling for space .“If they do not take the release window during the IPL, they will end up competing with the bigger movies, so IPL is like the lesser evil,” he added.

Some of the Hindi movies lined up for release include Chashme Baddoor, Shootout at Wadala, Bombay Talkies, Ek Thi Daayan, I Love New Year and Aashiqi 2, among others. From the Hollywood studios, franchise hits Iron Man-3 and Star Trek: Into Darkness, among others, are expected to be released during the IPL season.

Ashish Saksena, COO, Big Cinemas, said, “There is not even one weekend that does not have a film slated for release not only from Bollywood but also from Hollywood studios.”

Key production houses do not seem to be shying away from lining up releases during this sporting tournament. “Over the years, films have been releasing during the IPL and faring well too. We released Ragini MMS two years back. This time we have both Ek Thi Daayan and Shootout at Wadala. A good film is a good film and nothing can stop people from watching a film, not even cricket,” said Tanuj Garg, CEO of Balaji Motion Pictures.

Movie studios are also looking to leverage ‘low buzz’ periods during the 76 matches-long T20 league. Vikram Malhotra, COO, Viacom 18 Motion Pictures said, “Fundamentally, IPL viewing is a TV and family consumption experience within the confines of one’s home, whereas going to the movies still remains a special, out-of-home experience with friends or family.”

He added that films that have catered to the youth or urban markets, have fared especially well during the IPL tournament phase. “Our internal assessment shows that the peak periods of IPL are the opening ceremony and the semis and finals. Outside of these couple of days, it’s a fairly clean period to release films.” Viacom 18 Motion Pictures has Chashme Baddoor and Bombay Talkies, as well as Star Trek: Into Darkness lined up for release in the April-May period.

> meenakshi.v@thehindu.co.in

Published on April 01, 2013

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