By Hindustan Times
New Delhi, Feb. 21 -- No longer scared of the Indian Premier League (IPL), Bollywood will take on the tournament with 16 releases between April 3 and May 26, the dates of the cricket-entertainment extravaganza.
After a dry run at the box office during the initial years of the league, the industry belted out some big budget releases last year and will continue the trend this year, too, with around R400 crore riding on the films. The line-up includes big ticket films like Shootout at Wadala, Ek Thi Daayan, Nautanki Saala, and Zanjeer.
Vikram Malhotra of Viacom 18, that is releasing the Ali Zafar starrer Chashme Baddoor says, "Initially, all industries, including cinema was wary of IPL because it was a novel idea. By the time, it was in its third year, it had lost its appeal, and people had gone back to what they were doing. I believe that IPL and films have very distinct audience and IPL is not world cup which evokes patriotism."
Explains Tanuj Garg of Balaji Motion pictures, that is releasing Ek Thi Daayan and Shootout At Wadala during the period, "We don't see the IPL as a threat to our business. Over the years, a slew of movies have been releasing during the IPL and faring well."
Trade experts, too, agree. "The success of films like Housefull2, Vicky Donor, Ishaqzaade, etc that released during IPL, proves that cinema and cricket can co-exist. This year too, we have an impressive line-up which proves that the makers are confident of their product and are not scared of IPL. I see approximately R350-R400 crores at stake in these 2 months. Also, if you observe IPL is watched mostly during the first 7-10 days and last 7-10 days." says trade analyst Atul Mohan. "If you look at the release chart, it shows that people care only about the content," says trade expert Taran Adarsh.