‘Bell Bottom’ will not clash with ‘Fast 9’

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Whether theatres open in Maharashtra or not, producers and exhibitors have come together and decided to go ahead with the release of new films. Just yesterday Akshay Kumar launched the trailer of his film ‘Bell Bottom’ at a live event in Delhi and the movie is slated to release on August 19. Akshaye Rathi, an exhibitor from Maharashtra said, “There is radio silence from the Maharashtra government on reopening as well as relief measures. We can only hope things change between now and August 19.”
What if the theatres in Maharashtra aren’t allowed to open? What will the box office loss be like? Rajendra Jyala of Inox Cinema said, “Maharashtra takes care of a 25 per cent market for films so that is the loss producers and exhibitors will incur if cinemas don’t open. But, we are optimistic cinemas in Maharashtra will also open soon.”

There is uncertainty on how many theatres will be in a position to open up and ready to release a film post lockdown. Lots of theatres have heavy overheads to clear before they restart business. An industry source said, “One cannot discuss or talk about how big the release of ‘Bell Bottom’ or other films will be, as we don’t know how many theatres are healthy enough to open but there is a chance that ‘Bell Bottom’ may see about 1500 to 2000 screens if most theatres open up.” Jyala said that one cannot really have a clear strategy as to how wide the release of the film could be as exhibitors have no content to play right now to create any benchmarks.

Rajesh Mishra of UFO Moviez feels that the immense fatigue factor that had set in due to the prolonged lockdown is sure to bring audiences back to cinemas. He said, “With the states slowly opening up cinemas, the industry is gearing up to move towards normalcy. Films have started lining up for release and we expect a steady flow of films from coming weeks, starting with ‘Bell Bottom’. Regional markets like Punjab are expected to have a good run with films like ‘Puaada’. Hollywood films are also lining up. The need of the hour is that producers stagger out their films instead of clashing at the box office. Many big budget films like ‘Sooryavanshi’, ’83’, etc are waiting in the wings. Hollywood too has a very big line up. So overall, there is going to be enough content once cinemas open up even with limited capacity.”

While a few big-ticket movies released on OTT platforms during the last year and a half, the viewers haven’t really seen the usual practice of poster releases, launch events and promotional spree. The marketing plan for films that will soon release in cinemas though will bring back familiarity into the fray. Akshay Kumar attended a live event for the trailer launch of ‘Bell Bottom’ yesterday in Delhi. Varun Gupta of Max Marketing said, “After a really long time, a buzz has been created on trailer launch of a film for the very simple reason that it was an actual on-ground event and that created a momentum. Till the time the films release on OTT films will not have the perception of a hit or a flop.’’ He adds, “Once films start releasing in theatres a 360 marketing strategy kicks in. On OTT platforms makers only focus on digital promotion, like for ‘Laxmi’, there was no trailer launch, but ‘Bell Bottom’ got one. I am comparing these films because both have Akshay Kumar in the lead. ‘Laxmi’s promotions included releases for the trailer, poster and a song, but now with ‘Bell Bottom’, a proper trailer release and media interactions have added to the momentum.”
Gupta also reveals that OTT platforms have to promote themselves and not a film. When they promote new releases, they do so only to markets and viewers they want to target, but a theatrical release takes its promotions far and wide. He also adds that the cost of promotions will definitely go up now. He said, “Outdoor costs will get added and we have to go beyond digital and reach out to more people and to bring back the audience, we have to go that extra mile. The spend might go in excess of Rs 2.5 crore.”

Hollywood films have also lined up for theatrical releases across the country. Sunil Udhani of Multivision, who is releasing a new Hollywood film this week said, “These are challenging times as one does not know the mood of the public. That said, we are making sacrifices and supporting cinemas. I will continue to release my films as cinemas keep opening up in different states at different times, because not everyone has opened theatres at one go.’’ Although Hindi and other regional film producers will have to shell out more profit share to the exhibitors, in the case of Hollywood films, Udhani says they have a mutual understanding.

Addressing reports of a clash between ‘Fast & Furious 9’ and ‘Bell Bottom’, Jyala said, “There is a chance that ‘Fast & Furious 9’ may be pushed as two films on the same day is not good for anyone today.”

Credit Source – https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/entertainment/hindi/bollywood/news/akshay-kumars-bell-bottom-will-not-clash-with-fast-furious-9/articleshow/85042671.cms

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