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  1. #1
    Kal Ho Na Ho
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    India & Cambodia

    Default B-wood hit by Babri

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    On Sunday last, as Shah Rukh Khan spent a hectic day in Delhi handling promotional commitments, his team received a request from a senior officer of the Mumbai police, asking if the star could issue an appeal to maintain communal harmony ahead of the scheduled Babri verdict.

    This is hardly the only instance of the widely-anticipated verdict, which has large sections of the govt on tenterhooks, being on Bollywood's mind.

    The industry's latest heartthrob, Ranbir Kapoor, reflected the general mood when he told TOI last week that the scheduled release date of his forthcoming release "Anjaana Anjaani" coinciding with the verdict's expected delivery was an 'unfortunate situation' and that he'd ask his producers to change the date. Shifting of release dates of a major movie is not something that happens every other week, but barely a couple of days after Ranbir's statement, the release of "Anjaana..." was moved to the next Friday, October 1. Priyanka Chopra's tweet, "Ok guys... a very important announcement for me.. anjaana anjaani now releases on 1st oct..the ayodhya verdict is expected on 24th hence.(sic)" left the makers of "Aakrosh", originally scheduled to release on the 1st, with a fait accompli.

    Then there was a bit of a cycle-stand impact as "Aakrosh" producer Kumar Mangat, looking to avoid a head-on clash with "Anjaana...", chose to take the same call and moved his release to October 8 in his case, ostensibly without any prodding required from anyone. Mangat's logic being that three big releases "Anjaana...", "Robot" and "Aakrosh" on the same Friday wouldn't make business sense. His movie will now compete with " Crook". The cine sense seems to be sound two releases are better than three, when it's a case of splitting Friday openings.

    But now, at the nth hour, the SC has deferred the verdict to September 28, with no guarantee that even that date will see the verdict. Will the release dates of these films be further postponed?

    Anyway, the gainer in all this is " Dabangg", which will now have a 3rd weekend without a major Bollywood release to compete with it for screens or audiences. Since "Dabangg" is believed to be having a significant proportion of repeat viewers, and hasn't tapered off to irrelevance in its 2nd week, the 3rd unchallenged week'd add to its already humongous earnings which are believed to be about `117 crores in the first two weeks, as per industry watcher Taran Adarsh's online estimates.

    But it isn't as if nothing new will hit the theatres; Hollywood releases haven't either figured out the possible fallout or have decided that juggling things to meet the Indian market's nuances isn't worth it; Fox Star Studios' "Wall Street" and Disney's "Beauty And The Beast" have both released today as originally scheduled.
    "Friday verdict" is a phrase B-wood's familiar with, but this time around, it has a different connotation altogether.



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