Thanks to the success of last year releases Housefull 2 and Vicky Donor and David Dhawan's latest Chashme Baddoor, the fear of the Indian Premier League (IPL) is vanishing from the minds of filmmakers who have begun to feel that cricket and cinema can co-exist. Chashme Baddoor, a remake of 1981 Sai Paranjpye directed buddy film, has set the pace for the coming weeks.
Said trade expert Komal Nahata: "Chashme Baddoor is this year's assurance to a nervous-as-hell industry. The IPL is like a monster and the film industry needs to be assured against every year. Fears were quashed last year when Housefull 2 proved a hit right in the middle of the IPL."
Trade pundit Taran Adarsh said: "IPL is no longer a threat to a good film. If the content is strong, a film can withstand any opposition."
The change has been there for quite some time.
Producer Ram Mirchandani said last year during the IPL Housefull 2 did Rs.110 crore business and Vicky Donor earned Rs.48 crore.
"During another IPL season Chalo Dilli had done fabulous business. I think the IPL ceased to be a threat to cinema after the first two years of its existence. They can comfortably co-exist," he added.
Distributor and trade pundit Suniel Wadhwa says if the content is good, a film can work any time of the year.
"Since Jannat in 2008, the IPL has ceased to affect the film business provided the content is good. Films would do badly irrespective of the IPL if the content is bad. A recent case in point is Himmatwala," said Wadhwa.
Producer Vipul Amrutlal Shah, whose high-octane action film Commando released Friday, is confident that cricket and cinema can co-exist.
"I was confident that the IPL cannot break a film if it has the potential to draw in the audience. In Europe, movies do well even during the European League Football. The only sporting event that is a threat to the movies is the Soccer World Cup.
"And with due respect, the IPL does not generate the same fan frenzy as the Cricket World Cup, let alone the European League Football or the Soccer World Cup," said Shah.
Shah feels the IPL incites more provincial passion than a nationwide frenzy.
"Attendance in cinemas may suffer somewhat in the specific city where the IPL is played. But nothing more. The IPL is not like the Cricket World Cup. I had released my 'Namaste London' during the World Cup. And it is my biggest hit."
However, he admits that the success of Chashme Baddoor augurs well for the box office in the coming weeks.
"Any success is a good sign. That Chashme Baddoor was the first film to successfully take on the IPL season just goes to prove that there is room for cricket and cinema in the Indian citizens life. Give them an entertaining film and they'll tear themselves away from the game long enough to enjoy a film," he said.