IPL vs. Movies?

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By Hindustan Times

Mumbai, April 10 -- Bollywood films rarely see the kind of euphoria that surrounds cricket in India. And most filmmakers have learnt to live with that. But the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) Season Four, doesn't look like it poses a threat to films that will release over the next two-odd months. At least that's what their respective directors and producers feel.

"The IPL has started within less than a week after India's World Cup victory. It may hold people initially, but apart from the final, every match may not get as many eyeballs," says Onir, whose I Am releases on April 29, while the ongoing IPL will end on May 28. Director Rohan Sippy's big budget film, Dum Maro Dum, is due to hit theatres on April 22. He too, is sure that audiences will watch it, as they haven't seen a big release in a while: "I feel there is room for both films and cricket to co-exist."

According to producer Rakyesh Omprakash Mehra, a certain "cricket fatigue" has begun to set in among the audience, securing his film, Teen Thay Bhai, which releases on April 15. Meanwhile, trade experts feel the IPL may actually work in the favour of smaller budget projects, as not many big banner movies will risk releasing their films. "They stand to gain with critical acclaim and better price for satellite rights due to lesser competition from mega-starrers," says Amod Mehra, trade analyst.

Sagar Bellary's Bheja Fry 2, Subhash Ghai's Nauka Dubi and Cycle Kick; Ayub Din Khan's West Is West, Lara Dutta starrer Chalo Dilli, Sanjay Leela Bhansali's My Friend Pinto, Vikram Bhatt's Haunted and Rajshri's Love You Mr Kalakaar are some films due to release during this period.

Tanuj Garg, CEO, Balaji Motion Pictures, which is releasing Shor In The City on April 28 and Ragini MMS on May 12 agrees, "It's better to release subject oriented films during this time, rather than get them massacred by big budget flicks."

A self-confessed cricket fan, debutant director Amole Gupta too is looking forward to release his Stanley Ka Dabba on May 13. "After winning the WC, cricket fans can't look for a greater high," says Gupte. "My film is a family entertainer for the summer holidays in schools."