Last week, we discussed how Hollywood studios in India have decided to release their films even though the key market of Maharashtra is still shut. ‘Mortal Kombat’ was released on July 30 and today, ‘The Suicide Squad’ is releasing. The latter is having a day-and-date release, meaning, it releases on the same day in India as in the USA and many other markets. ‘The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It’ will arrive in cinemas next week, on August 13, but the trade was most excited for ‘Fast and Furious 9’, which will hit theatres on August 19.
Last Friday, it was announced that the much awaited Akshay Kumar starrer ‘Bellbottom’ would also release on August 19. A section of trade and exhibitors were concerned with the clash as it could mean that the business would get divided. But the excitement of having two major releases in cinemas overpowered all apprehensions.
The ‘Bellbottom’ announcement happened a day after Maharashtra health minister Rajesh Tope indicated that cinemas will be allowed to open in the state in August. However, when the guidelines for August were announced on Monday, August 2, everyone got a grave shock. As per the directives, cinema halls and theatres were not allowed to resume operations in Maharashtra. Everyone feared that ‘Bellbottom’ would be pushed since Maharashtra contributes a major chunk of business. Thankfully, the makers of ‘Bellbottom’ launched their trailer at a grand event on Tuesday, August 3.
Sources in the trade and exhibition sector have assured that cinemas would be allowed to reopen in the state between August 12 and August 15. The makers of ‘Bellbottom’ have been assured of it and this is why, it is said, that the film is releasing on August 19. At the trailer launch of the film, Akshay Kumar hinted that 2 weeks are left for the film to release and that anything can happen in this period.
As for Hollywood, it was reported last week that the studios have decided not to wait for Maharashtra and scheduled their releases. These films would still release regardless of whether or not Maharashtra allows cinemas to reopen. But what if the Maharashtra government does a U-turn and doesn’t permit theatres? Will ‘Bellbottom’ still make it? These questions are unsettling and here’s hoping everyone gets a clear idea by next week.