The Impact of Sooryavanshi’s Postponement Due to COVID-19 Spike
Akshay Kumar’s Sooryavanshi’s release has been postponed once again.
With a record breaking spike in COVID-19 cases in Maharashtra, the state government has implemented some strict rules on 5 April, one of them being the shutting down of movie theatres. The year 2020 was the worst year for the global film industry due to the pandemic and resultant lockdown, and just when things were starting to look up, several producers and studios went ahead and announced release dates for their films which were held up. Release dates for a list of Bollywood releases were made public right till December this year, and then the second wave struck.
Now, theatres in Maharashtra will be closed to the public till April 30, which means that films which were supposed to get a theatrical release this month are likely get pushed once again. Here are the films that were scheduled for a theatrical release in April 2021:
This is one of the biggest releases of the year. Well, we have been saying this since 2020, but just when we thought that we would finally see Akshay Kumar, Ranveer Singh and Ajay Devgn together on the big screen on 30 April, another lockdown has been announced in Maharashtra. The makers of the film have confirmed that they are further postponing the release date. A new release date hasn't been announced yet.
This is what film critic and trade analyst Taran Adarsh had to say about the decision to move the Rohit Shetty film’s release date once again, "There are two sides of looking at it. One, the producer’s side. Last March, the release got postponed because of the COVID lockdown and it has been pushed again due to the sudden surge in cases and the situation in Maharashtra. The producers couldn't have done anything in this case."
“Secondly, Sooryavanshi is a big film and there’s no way Mumbai could have been bypassed as Maharashtra contributes to around 40% of the business in the entertainment industry, and in some cases even more. If you look at the global market also, US is slowly limping back to normal, UK is shut, and Australia and New Zealand are also not fully open. Sooryavanshi needs to attract global audiences as well. In this situation, it’s best to postpone.”Taran Adarsh, Film Trade Analyst
Kangana Ranaut's ambitious project Thalaivi, based on the life of political leader and film actor J Jayalalithaa, was supposed to release on 23 April, but now with theatres shutting down, will it get a new release date? The film which has been shot in Hindi, Tamil and Telugu languages simultaneously has a big draw down south in the Tamil and Telugu markets and is not just limited to Maharashtra. This could mean that there are chances that the producers of Thalaivi might still go for an an all-India release on 23 April, except in Maharashtra. The makers are in talks and the final decision will be announced soon.
AR Rahman turned producer with 99 Songs, which was initially supposed to release in 2020 but because of obvious reasons, 16 April 2021 was announced as a new release date for this musical. But the sudden decision to close down theatres in Maharashtra pushed the makers to take a serious call regarding the scheduled release date. However, just like Thalaivi, this is a multi-lingual film and so the producers have decided to go ahead with the release of the film in other parts of the country as per schedule. We are waiting for a new release date to be announced for Maharashtra.
What it Means to Push Release Dates
Taran Adarsh tells us that in his career as a film trade analyst he has never seen such a disastrous and depressing phase. "The Bollywood industry is bleeding and we are again back to square one." He tells us what it means to push the release dates of these films.
“Due to Sooryavanshi getting postponed, I think the entire exhibition sector which was relying on this big film is shaken. But I am sure they understand that this decision is mainly because of the COVID spike.”Taran Adarsh, Film Trade Analyst
"We have only 52 Fridays in a year out of which we have already lost 15 Fridays in the first quarter. We had Roohi but that wasn't during the spike in cases, in that particular week, but they were increasing gradually. Then we had Mumbai Saga which got affected very badly and then came the worst, Saina. It bombed very badly. Of course there were Hollywood films which did very well in the box-office but again didn't really meet those numbers that would have come in from pre-covid times," concludes Taran.
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