KARACHI: There is no gainsaying that people in India are most passionate about two things – cinema and cricket. But Indian audiences will be spoilt for choice when cinema and cricket face off in the coming weeks, with the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 set to begin on February 14, reported Roznama Express.
The World Cup, which will be contested in Australia and New Zealand, is likely to impact the Bollywood films that are slated to release in India during the course of the 43-day event. Commenting on whether the major sporting event can impact the box-office collections, Indian trade analyst and film journalist Amod Mehra said, “No major film company would want to release their film during this window.” He added, “But there are only 52 weeks [in a year] to release a film, and many producers are hopeful their movies would benefit from lack of competition from other films during this period.”
Bollywood films Roy and Dirty Siasat are scheduled to release on February 13, a day ahead of the World Cup in Australia and New Zealand. Arjun Rampal, who stars in the film Roy, quipped, “I am praying that it rains in Australia and New Zealand because I know that releasing a film during this time may prove to be costly. Plus, Pakistan and India will also play each other two days after the release of the film.” Among other films, which are slated to release during the World Cup window, are Varun Dhawan’s Badlapur and Anushka Sharma’s NH 10, reported Hindustan Times.
Filmmaker Farah Khan shared similar sentiments and said, “Whenever there is a world cup happening, cinema is bound to suffer.” Contrarily, Mallika Sherawat, who will be seen in Dirty Siasat, stated, “There are so many people in India that these films will eventually find an audience. I am not interested in cricket at all and there will be more people like me who will come watch our films.”
According to Mehra, the only way these films stand to benefit is if the Indian team is eliminated from the World Cup in the early stages, as people will turn to cinema to “reduce the sorrow of defeat.” “Main Tera Hero (2014) released on the day India played South Africa (during the T20 World Cup). The film still did well. I am a big cricket-lover myself and I want India to do well in the World Cup, but I strongly believe that film lovers will continue to watch the films that they want to,” said Dhawan.
Bhushan Kumar who has produced Roy, said he was ‘confident’ that his film would do well at the box office. “We had discussed the World Cup before deciding the release date [of Roy], but then we realised that cricket fever isn’t as high as it used to be. Plus, India isn’t playing every day, and not all the people are going to be interested in cricket,” he commented.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 31st, 2015.
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