For the last few weeks, the fuss around the big releases this Eid (August 8) has generated immense curiosity among audiences and the trade industry alike.
But while Once Upon A Time In Mumbaai Again and Chennai Express (CE) have both locked the Eid weekend, the two other big movies of August, Satyagraha and Kaanchi, will release only in the last two weeks of the month. Which means that the Independence Day weekend, which is usually much coveted by the film industry, will have nothing new to show at theatres.
The question is, why? And the answer, apparently, is that filmmakers and distributors believe that the big Eid clash between Shah Rukh Khan's CE and Once Upon... will continue over the next weekend as well.
"Even though the Independence Day weekend is clear, August 8 looks like an extremely exciting date because it can give producers the advantage of two big holidays, Eid and Independence Day, one after the other,” says film distributor and exhibitor Akshaye Rathi.
“Both CE and Once Upon... are eagerly awaited films because of the pairing of superstars with ace directors. So this slot can comfortably accommodate two big releases and ensure that both the films have a great run at the box office.” “An Eid release usually means a high chance of bumper box-office returns because the day marks the end of Ramzan, the Muslim month of fasting, during which box-office collections are usually low,” says trade analyst Amod Mehra, adding, “Besides, CE stars Shah Rukh Khan and Once Upon... is set against a Muslim backdrop. And two holiday weekends will only add to their set date (in terms of the business).”
The possibility of these two movies continuing to rule the box office for two weekends running has pushed the producers of Satyagraha and Kaanchi to shift their own release dates from August 15 to later in the month.
A trade insider says, “UTV Motion Pictures were planning on releasing Satyagraha on August 15, but since they have CE on Eid, they don’t want the business of either film to be affected. So they have smartly announced Satyagraha’s release on August 23.”
The insider goes on to add that Subhash Ghai also decided to push the release of his film, Kaanchi to August 30 for the same reason.