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Bollywood Talk – Will Jersey get the advantage of last-minute postponement?

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Shahid Kapoor’s last film, ‘Kabir Singh’ (2019), had emerged as a surprise blockbuster. The actor, whose solo films never went beyond the Rs. 70 crore mark, shocked everyone as ‘Kabir Singh’ collected Rs. 276.34 crore. Now, all eyes are on his next, ‘Jersey’, which releases tomorrow.

‘Jersey’ also stars Mrunal Thakur and Shahid’s real-life father, Pankaj Kapur. It tells the story of a man who decides to fulfill his dream of becoming a cricketer at the age of 36. It is the remake of the 2019 Telugu film of the same name. Gowtam Tinnanuri, the director of the original film, has also directed the Hindi remake.

‘Jersey’ was supposed to release on August 28, 2020, but was postponed due to the pandemic. The makers then briefly tried releasing it on Diwali 2021, before settling for December 31. Sadly, on December 27, the film was pushed due to the third wave. The makers took their time in announcing the new release date as they wanted to arrive when theatres in all states were open and when 100% occupancy would be allowed.

In mid-February, it was announced that it’ll release on April 14 and thus clash with the monstrous ‘KGF: Chapter 2’. Several trade experts and industry insiders advised not to do so as the hype for ‘KGF: Chapter 2’ is tremendous. Yet, the makers didn’t pay heed. It’s when ‘KGF: Chapter 2’s advance booking began and when its tickets started selling like hot cakes is when they realized that they’ll be in trouble if ‘Jersey’ arrives on April 14. Hence, on April 11, the producers revealed that their film would now arrive on April 22.

The trailer of ‘Jersey’ has been well received. Shahid Kapoor is on a high after ‘Kabir Singh’ and that’ll prove to be an advantage. However, it’s not like the hype for the film is huge and that viewers would flock to the cinemas to watch it. ‘KGF: Chapter 2’ has slowed down on weekdays but it can pick up during the second weekend. Moreover, in Maharashtra, it’ll face a tough fight from ‘Sher Shivraj’. It is the next part after ‘Pawankhind’, which was released in February 2022, and was a super-hit. And that’s not all. Next week, its screens would reduce considerably due to the Eid releases, ‘Heropanti 2’ and ‘Runway 34’.

As a result, ‘Jersey’ needs to be a very good film to sustain and excel. The opening day figures would be in the range of Rs. 5-7 crore. An opening weekend of Rs. 25 crore and the first week of Rs. 40 crore seems to be the best bet, provided the word of mouth is positive. Then it’ll all be about how it withstands the Eid releases and other forthcoming films.

The other major Bollywood release is ‘Operation Romeo’. It is produced by Neeraj Pandey and stars Sharad Kelkar, Bhumika Chawla, Sidhant Gupta and Vedika Pinto. It is the remake of the Malayalam film ‘Ishq’ (2019). The trailer is promising but the awareness is near zero. Hence, it’ll have a disastrous run at the box office, even if the reports are positive.

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