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Bollywood Talk – Sooryavanshi and Eternals are expected to rock the show but face an unexpected hurdle

Picture Credit: Instagram

‘Sooryavanshi’, starring Akshay Kumar and directed by Rohit Shetty, was all set to release on March 24, 2020, but sadly got pushed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The makers then announced that it’ll release on Diwali 2020 and later assured that it’ll arrive in cinemas on April 30, 2021. Yet again, the virus played spoilsport. Finally, on September 25, Rohit Shetty along with the multiplex owners met Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and convinced him to allow cinemas to reopen from October 22. An hour later, Rohit announced that he’ll bring his much-awaited film on Diwali, that is, November 5.

‘Sooryavanshi’s trailer has been out since March 2, 2020, but surprisingly, the film hasn’t gotten stale yet. It is the first association of Rohit Shetty with Akshay Kumar. Also, it’s a part of the cop universe. Hence, ‘Singham’ (2011) played by Ajay Devgn and ‘Simmba’ (2018) played by Ranveer Singh are also a part of it and feature in the climax. A glimpse of them was already shown in the trailer and it added to the hype considerably. Interestingly, despite Ajay Devgn and Ranveer Singh having cameo appearances, they have been prominently featured on the film’s posters. The idea probably is to generate extreme excitement for this film and to ensure it turns out to be Bollywood’s major hit in 19 months.

Sadly, the film has faced some challenges. Though the makers have publicized it well that the film is releasing in cinemas, the promotions could have been stronger. The music hasn’t worked. While “Aaila Re Aaila” song featuring Akshay Kumar, Ajay Devgn and Ranveer Singh got thumbs up, the next two songs were poor. There’s another song in the film, “Tip Tip Barsa Paani”, featuring Akshay and the film’s heroine Katrina Kaif. It’s supposed to be something to watch out for but shockingly, the makers haven’t released it yet. Fans are wondering why the makers would do so since it would have added to the publicity.

Nevertheless, the buzz is considerable and the ticket sales have been strong in cinemas that have begun selling tickets. If ‘Sooryavanshi’ had been released in the pre-pandemic days, it would have definitely had an opening in the range of Rs. 35-40 crore. Sadly, due to the pandemic, some theatres haven’t reopened and also, states like Maharashtra are operating at 50% occupancy. Hence, the opening day collections would be in the range of Rs. 20-25 crore. This is subject to the film having a very wide release.

As of now, many cinemas haven’t opened bookings as ‘Sooryavanshi’ makers are asking for a higher revenue share and multiplex chains are not ready with this offer. Both parties have suffered. The makers argue that their budget has gone up and that they could have released the film online. But they didn’t and hence, their demand is justified. The exhibitors, meanwhile, claim that even they have suffered losses.

And that’s not all. ‘Sooryavanshi’ makers have asked exhibitors not to give any shows to ‘Eternals’ in cinemas with 2 or less than 2 screens. ‘Eternals’ belongs to the Marvel Cinematic Universe and it releases tomorrow. This Hollywood film also has tremendous hype and exhibitors desire to play the film alongside ‘Sooryavanshi’. Both these issues remain unsolved despite the film releasing in a day. It has led to a lot of anger among exhibitors and also moviegoers.

If all goes well and ‘Eternals’ manages to get reasonable shows, it has the potential to have an opening of Rs. 7-8 crore. Everyone is now hoping the issue is resolved by today (Thursday, November 4) afternoon so that the advance booking can commence with full force by evening.


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