Makers of big-ticket Bollywood films like the Aamir Khan –Nag Chaitanya starrer Laal Singh Chaddha, Akshay Kumar’s Prithviraj and Bachchan Pandey, Ranbir Kapoor-starrer Shamshera and Ranveer Singh’s 83 have announced fresh theatrical release dates, a day after the Maharashtra government allowed cinema halls to operate from next month – Jyothi Venkatesh
The theatrical date calendar of the Hindi film industry — which had remained largely vacant, except for a few major releases like Kumar’s Bell Bottom in August and Rajkummar Rao’s horror comedy Roohi in March — soon appeared to be booking slots for a release one after the other in the day, according to a report in PTI.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray said that Cinema halls and drama theatres in the State will open from October 22 on the condition that they follow all the protocols required to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
And within hours, Rohit Shetty announced that his much awaited action drama Sooryavanshi will open worldwide theatrically on November 5 , Diwali, Starring Akshay Kumar, the action film was one of the few major films pushed due to the pandemic last year.
The announcement prompted the filmmakers to book the dates of their upcoming films awaiting their releases.
Babloo Bachelor starring Sharman Joshi and Pooja Gupta has also been scheduled to release on October 22, the day the theatres are slated to open all over Maharashtra, according to PR person Ashwini Shukla.
Aamir’s Laal Singh Chaddha has been moved ahead from its earlier announced December release to Valentine’s Day 2022.
The Advait Chandan-directed movie, an official remake of Tom Hanks’ 1994 feature Forrest Gump, was scheduled to be released on Christmas 2021 but was delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The vacant spot of Laal Singh Chaddha has been swooped up by Ranveer Singh’s much-anticipated cricket drama “83”.
Directed by Kabir Khan, the film is now scheduled to be released theatrically in December in Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada and Malayalam.
The movie chronicles Indian cricket men’s team’s first World Cup win under the captaincy of Kapil Dev in 1983, when they defeated West Indies in the final.
The big-budget, multi-starrer movie was one of the first projects which was pushed — from its original April 2020 release — due to COVID-19 outbreak.
Apart from 83, Singh will also be seen in Yash Raj Films’ Jayeshbhai Jordaar, set for a February 25, 2022 release.
Billed as a family entertainer, the Divyang Thakkar directorial is set in Gujarat and features Singh as a man who becomes an unlikely hero.
Starting from Sooryavanshi, Kumar will see at least four films released in theatres within 10 months.
Kumar’s Prithviraj will be released on January 21, 2022. Backed by Yash Raj Films, the Chandraprakash Dwivedi directorial features the actor in the title role of the 11th century ruler Prithviraj Chauhan.
The film also marks the screen debut though belatedly of Miss World 2017 Manushi Chillar. Next up for Kumar will be the action comedy Bachchan Pandey. Produced by Sajid Nadiadwala, the film is scheduled to be released on March 4, 2022 and stars Akshay as a gangster, who aspires to be an actor.
Bachchan Pandey also stars Jacqueline Fernandez, Kriti Sanon, Arshad Warsi and last but not the least Gaurav Kapoor.
Raksha Bandhan is Kumar’s fourth film which has been announced for a theatrical release. Directed by Aanand L Rai, the film will open in theatres on August 11, 2022.
The movie also stars Bhumi Pednekar, Sadia Khateeb, Sahejmeen Kaur, Deepika Khanna and Smrithi Srikanth.Apart from Prithviraj and Jayeshbhai Jordaar, Yash Raj Films will release two more films theatrically — Shamshera and the sequel to the studio’s 2005 blockbuster crime comedy, Bunty Aur Babli 2.
Bunty Aur Babli 2, starring Saif Ali Khan, Rani Mukerji, Siddhant Chaturvedi and Sharvari, will be released worldwide on November 19.
The film has been helmed by Varun V Sharma. Ranbir’s Shamshera, meanwhile, will open in theatres on March 18, 2022.
Billed as an “adrenaline pumping entertainer”, the Karan Malhotra directorial also stars Vaani Kapoor and Sanjay Dutt.
Shahid Kapoor’s “Jersey”, the Hindi remake of the 2019 Telugu blockbuster of the same name, will be released theatrically on December 31.
The film, directed by Gowtham Tinnanuri who also helmed the original, was earlier scheduled to release on Diwali.
Abhishek Kapoor’s romantic-drama “Chandigarh Kare Aashiqui”, featuring Ayushmann Khurrana and Vaani Kapoor, is set to be released this December.
“This year is about love, drama and movies. Back to cinemas with #Chandigarh Kare Aashiqui, releasing on 10th December, 2021,” a note from the makers reads.
The film was earlier scheduled to hit the screens in July. In the film, billed as a “progressive love story”, Khurrana will be seen essaying the role of a cross functional athlete.
Tiger Shroff also announced the release date of his next film Heropanti 2. The action drama, another film produced by Nadiadwala, will hit the Indian screens on May 6, 2022.
Heropanti 2, a sequel to the 2014 action film, was earlier scheduled to be released theatrically on December 3.
Farhad Samji’s film Kabhi Eid Kabhi Diwali has been tentatively renamed as ‘Bhaijaan’.
The film that stars Salman Khan and Pooja Hegde in the lead role is slated to hit the theatres on Diwali 2022.
According to a report in a news portal, once the situation improves, the superstar will do a photo shoot with the cast of the film at his Panvel farmhouse.
The report also added that designer Ashley Rebello has already started work on his look in the film.
Salman will reportedly be seen sporting a clean-shaven look with a white kurta and jeans.
The report also added that the action-comedy is an official remake of a popular Tamil film where Salman Khan will be seen as the eldest brother who refuses to get married, believing that marriage may create disharmony in the family.
After his three younger brothers find love, they conspire to find a match for him. According to the makers of the film, since the movie focuses on the bond of brotherhood they feel the title, ‘Bhaijaan’ perfectly captures its essence.
Apart from Salman and Pooja, the movie will also star Aayush Sharma and Zaheer Iqbal in key roles.
The makers are planning to kickstart the shooting of the film in November 2021 and will release the first look of ‘Bhaijaan’ on the occasion of Bakri Eid on July 21.
Apart from this, Salman will next be seen in ‘Tiger 3’ alongside Katrina Kaif and Emraan Hashmi. He also has ‘Kick 2’ with Jacqueline Fernandez and ‘Antim: The Final Truth’ co-starring his brother-in-law Aayushs directed by Mahesh Manjrekar.
Salman also has a film with Sooraj Barjatya and is planning to star in the official Hindi remake of the Tamil film, ‘Master’ that originally starred Vijay in the lead role.
Salman is also playing a special cameo in Siddharth Anand’s ‘Pathan’ starring SRK in the lead role.
He will reportedly be helping SRK take down the baddies in the film. It also stars Deepika Padukone and John Abraham in the lead roles.
According to The Mint, in the absence of sufficient Bollywood films, theatre owners are pinning hopes on Hollywood superhero flick Venom: Let There Be Carnage to lure viewers this Dussehra weekend.
The Hindi movie slate will arrive in the cinemas in time for Diwali, thus proving to be a competition to Sooryvanshi.
The festive weekend will be big for Bengali and Punjabi industries which are seeing two big releases – Golondaaj and Honsla Rakh, respectively.
“We’re sure that people are going to come back to cinemas in large numbers and at the same time, there will be content that people will watch at home on their individual screens during this festival season.
Overall, it is the consumers who are the ultimate winners because they get to choose what they want to watch and when,” Krishnani says in reference to the wide array of options across streaming services like Amazon Prime Time , Netflix, Zee 5 and Disney Plus Star and the change in audience habits over the past year-and-half of the pandemic.
Film producer, trade and exhibition expert Girish Johar said that Maharashtra not being on board could be a disadvantage for the film that caters to an adult, up-market audience and is not a family-friendly superhero offering.
“The same urban, metro audiences are also the target for OTT content,” Johar adds.
A senior executive at a streaming platform said even OTT services are aware that festive season is likely to be a cinema-centric as vaccinated people look forward to stepping out to see the big films.
That, however, hasn’t stopped OTT platforms from lining up an attractive slate across languages.
While Taapsee Pannu-starrer Rashmi Rocket will start streaming on ZEE5 on Friday, Amazon Prime Video has two films —Tamil action drama Udanpirappe produced by Suriya and Hindi period drama Sardar Udham starring Vicky Kaushal directed by Shoojit Sarkar. Netflix is bringing the last season of its popular romantic comedy series Little Things. “Theatres and OTTs can co-exist.
In fact, we’re looking forward to acquiring more films as cinemas reopen which are often, big drivers of viewership,” says Soumya Mukherjee, Vice-President, revenue and strategy, at the popular Bengali streaming service Hoichoi that is carrying out outdoor advertising campaigns to create awareness around its shows for Durga Puja and traditionally sees spikes in viewership in the October to January period.