India’s two biggest passions — cricket and cinema — are set for a big clash in the next few months. As selectors zero in on the Indian cricket team for the upcoming World Cup that starts next month (February 14) — which will be followed by the new season of the domestic cricket league (starting in April), we wonder if the movie business will get affected by the cricket fever.
In the month of February, Bollywood won’t see many big releases with the exceptions of Ranbir Kapoor-starrer Roy and Varun Dhawan-starrer Badlapur, while March will see Anushka Sharma’s NH10 and Vivek Oberoi-Riteish Deshmukh starrer Bank Chor. The makers, however, are unfazed. “We had discussed the so-called ‘threat’ from the World Cup but then we realised that the cricket fever isn’t as high as it used to be. So you will no longer see empty roads or closed shops during matches. Plus, India isn’t playing every day, and people won’t be as interested in other teams. Also, it’s Valentine’s Day which comes with a long weekend, with no other film releasing alongside Roy, so I have all the reasons to release it on February 13,” says the film’s producer, Bhushan Kumar.
Varun Dhawan feels the same. “My Main Tera Hero released on the day when India played against Pakistan and still, the film had a solid opening. There can be space for both — cricket and films,” says the actor.
April onwards, alongside the domestic cricket league, B-Town will see the release of Dibakar Banerjee’s Detective Byomkesh Bakshy starring Sushant Singh Rajput, Vidhu Vinod Chopra’s Broken Horses, Shoojit Sircar’s multi-starrer Piku and Anurag Kashyaps’ Ranbir Kapoor starrer Bombay Velvet.
“The business may be affected when India plays a match, but not during other matches. After all, filmmakers can’t push their film by four months. They have to take the risk,” says trade analyst Amod Mehra.
During the World Cup
Roy: February 13. Ranbir Kapoor, Arjun Rampal, Jacqueline Fernandez
Badlapur: February 20
Varun Dhawan, Nawazuddin Siddiqui
NH10: March 6
Anushka Sharma, Neil Bhoopalam
Bank Chor: March 6
Vivek Oberoi, Riteish Deshmukh
During the domestic league
Piku: April 30
Amitabh Bachchan, Deepika Padukone, Irrfan KhanBroken Horses: April 10
Vincent D’Onofrio, Anton Yelchin
Detective Byomkesh Bakshy!: April 10
Sushant Singh Rajput, Swastika Mukherjee, Anand Tiwari
Bombay Velvet: May 15
Ranbir Kapoor, Anushka Sharma, Karan Johar