What Does Postponing Release Dates Mean For RRR, Radhe Shyam & Jersey?
Pushing of release dates for Jersey, RRR, Radhe Shyam means a lot of risk. Here's what the industry feels.
Some of the biggest films were set to release in January 2022, but with the sudden spike in COVID cases and restrictions being imposed in different parts of the country, filmmakers have been forced to postpone the release dates.
It began with Shahid Kapoor-starrer Jersey, which was scheduled to hit theatres on 31 December. The decision to not release the movie was taken at the last minute. This was followed by SS Rajamouli's magnum opus RRR, starring Jr NTR, Ram Charan, Ajay Devgn and Alia Bhatt in lead roles. Supposed to release on 7 January, it has been pushed because of theatres shutting down. Prabhas and Pooja Hegde's Radhe Shyam and Akshay Kumar and Manushi Chhillar's Prithviraj will also not release on 14 and 21 January respectively.
Varun Gupta, founder of Max Marketing, spoke to The Quint about how this delay in theatrical releases is going to affect the industry, especially when promotional events of some films have already begun.
"My company, Max Marketing, and I have been working on the marketing campaigns for all the three films that got pushed - Jersey, RRR and Radhe Shyam. Prithviraj and Attack were also supposed to release in January, but if you have noticed they have only dropped small teasers. They didn't go for full-fledged marketing campaigns. That way they are safe. But the films we were working on, their teasers, trailers and songs are out. We also organised events for Jersey, even did a music event, 'Jersey of Dreams', because the songs were performing well. RRR, too, had a huge event. As for Radhe Shyam, we did a trailer launch in Hyderabad, where the media from Mumbai was invited. Apart from spending on the projects, the teams of the three movies had also invested in promotional activities", Gupta explained.
Since Jersey, RRR and Radhe Shyam were shot and ready to be released, Gupta said it is a blow to the makers as the hype was already created.
"There is a lot of money at stake for 'Radhe Shyam' and 'RRR', since they are pan-India movies. These expenses were done keeping in mind that the films will release on their scheduled dates. Due to the spike in COVID cases, the decision to postpone the movies was taken just a week before they were about to hit theatres. It's definitely a blow to all of us, because everything was planned to build the hype ahead of the release. Almost 80% of the expenses that were scheduled for marketing has been spent. For 'Jersey', we have exhausted almost 95 per cent of the money".Varun Gupta, Founder of Max Marketing
Gupta, however, added that he does not see the events as a complete waste. "I don't see it as a complete waste of money because all these marketing activities, ideas and promotions have reached the audience and they know about Jersey, RRR and Radhe Shyam. So, whenever these films release in theatres, we don't need to go back and start spending again. We will pick up from where we left. We will probably have to spend 10 per cent more than what was decided".
Gupta also said that one thing is clear that the makers are keen to release these films in cinema halls and not take the OTT route.
"We want to release these three movies in theatres when they reopen. Of course, this is hoping and considering that things get better in the next two months. If things start looking up around March-April, we can consider going ahead with the release. If things go beyond that then it's a wait and watch for everyone because the interest cost, the money cost everything will be rising. So that's a call that producers will take".Varun Gupta, Founder of Max Marketing
Among the cons of pushing the release is that the interest rate on the cost of production continues to increase as the film, despite being ready to release, isn't going ahead. While Jersey would have probably been made at a budget of Rs 100 crores, Radhe Shyam is approximately a Rs 250-crore project, and RRR around Rs 500 crores.
In terms of promotions too, Jersey would have spent close to Rs 8 to 10 crores on marketing already. RRR has spent around Rs 15 crores, while Radhe Shyam around Rs 5 to 6 crores. Sources have told The Quint that Shahid has reduced his fees to help the producers ensure that the film becomes a profitable venture when it releases in theatres.
With uncertainty once again looming large, we have to wait and watch what the filmmakers and producers decide.
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