Finding its own pitch

Third season of IPL showed that it no longer eats into the Bollywood business

Show time: 'Vicky Donor' did better than average business. Photo: The Hindu

Show time: ‘Vicky Donor’ did better than average business. Photo: The Hindu

When Indian Premier League (IPL) started in 2008, it was a great hit. With big stars of Bollywood entering into cricket as team owners and brand ambassadors, excitement of people increased immensely. At the same time IPL affected Bollywood’s business and film distribution by wooing cricket and films fans both to its side. This season’s IPL began on April 4th and concludes on May 27th.

With time, filmmakers have learnt to withstand the onslaught unleashed by the cricket mania. Last year the only big-ticket films to release during the IPL wereDum Maro Dum and Thank You. Incidentally, both failed in attracting the audience whereas a string of smaller productions released during the IPL like Shor In The City, , I AmLove Ka The EndRagini MMSStanley Ka Dabba and Pyar Ka Punchnama managed to impress.

This time big banner films like Sajid Khan’s blockbuster franchise Houseful 2, Vikram Bhatt’s Hate Story, John Abraham’s debut production Vicky Donor, Emran Hashmi’s Jannat 2, Karisma Kapur’s comeback movie Dangerous Ishhq, Yash Raj productions Ishaqzaade and many others were released during IPL. It is not just Bollywood but also foreign films like James Cameron’s Titanic (3D), Men in Black-3 and The Avengers that opened their releases during the IPL. And they haven’t done all that bad. Houseful 2, Vicky Donor, Jannat 2 and Avengers can be counted amongst some of the successful films.

Ganga Singh Rawat of Mukta Arts, who distributes films in Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana says, “IPL has lost its charm. During the first and second season of IPL people wouldn’t come and watch movies. But this season of IPL did not affect film distribution much. The business was the same as before.”

Salman Khan openly asked producers not to fear IPL while Shah Rukh Khan, who also owns KKR team, has pledged not to take risk and release his films before or after IPL.

A staffer of the multiplex DT cinemas, DLF Mall says, “The numbers have decreased to some extent but it has not affected the business much. Films are still being watched as before. People gathered in a large numbers for Avengers and Ishaqzaade.

Siddharta Roy Kapoor, CEO of UTV Motion Pictures opines, “The IPL has now become a regular part of the annual calendar and producers and distributors have realised that movie releases and cricket can co-exist. The general opinion is that if a film is good, it will run despite the IPL happening concurrently.”

(This article was first published in The Hindu-MetroPlus)


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