IPL not a competition for films any longer?

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New Delhi, March 14 -- In the past, filmmakers have made a conscious decision to not release their films during the Indian Premiere League, so as to not lose out on audience. However, that seems to have changed.

This year, there are a host of films releasing during the IPL season (April 9 to May 29). Starting with the Shah Rukh Khan-starrer Fan, to Aishwarya Rai Bachchan's Sarabjit and Emraan Hashmi's Azhar, there will be much to catch in the theatres during the IPL.

Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra's Mirziya as well as Shraddha Kapoor-Tiger Shroff-starrer Baaghi will also hit screens around the same time.

Explaining this trend, trade analyst Omar Qureshi says that the excitement of the IPL is slowly dying down and therefore people don't mind missing matches to catch up on films.

"Initially, IPL meant free entertainment at home. Also it would give you a chance to watch your favourite Bollywood stars like Preity Zinta and Shah Rukh Khan in the stands. But now after so many seasons, it doesn't hold as much excitement. This is why filmmakers too are more confident about releasing their films," he says.

Film distributor Rajesh Thadani agrees and adds, "The initial matches are boring. People are interested in the semi finals and the final. If a film has good content, it will survive the IPL."

Director Omung Kumar, whose biographical drama, Sarabjit, is slated for release during the tournament, says, "I didn't think of the IPL at all when deciding on the release date. I am confident that word of mouth will draw the audience to the theatres."

Adds producer Bhushan Kumar, "IPL is a competitor only to films with poor content, but not for a intense films like Sarbjit at all," he says.