Mirroring The Industry: What’s the way forward for Bollywood? Radhe, Sooryavanshi, 83, Bell Bottom, SMJ 2

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Is the hybrid release model, adopted by Salman Khan for Radhe, the temporary way forward for Bollywood films? Pinkvilla discusses.

On Wednesday, Salman Khan announced that his next, Radhe: Your Most Wanted Bhai, will opt for a hybrid release, suggesting that the film will release in cinema halls across the globe as also premiere directly on digital platform using the pay-per-view model on ZeePlex. The announcement led to conversations in the film trade if this is the path ahead for Bollywood films, and the common notion is – it’s going to be a wait and watch game. All eyes will be on May 13, to see the response that this format gets and if Salman Khan gets the expected eyeballs, this well might become the new norm ahead.

With that lets come to the discussion for the day, what’s the way forward for two of the biggest Bollywood releases – Sooryavanshi and 83? The two have held back on the film for over a year now, and the future even now looks uncertain. While some in the trade have already started to speculate that the two mega entertainers with Akshay Kumar and Ranveer Singh respectively, will also take the digital route, the fact at the moment remains that Reliance Entertainment is holding onto the film at this point of time for the theatres. However, meetings are happening on a day-to-day basis, and a trade insider reveals that the final call on release strategy for both the films will be taken by Mid-May, as multiple lockdowns are set to be lifted by then, thereby also leading to an expected drop in covid cases.

What’s the way forward for two of the biggest Bollywood releases – Sooryavanshi and 83? The two have held back on the film for over a year now, and the future even now looks uncertain

Mirroring The Industry: What’s the way forward for Bollywood? Radhe, Sooryavanshi, 83, Bell Bottom, SMJ 2

Is the hybrid release model, adopted by Salman Khan for Radhe, the temporary way forward for Bollywood films? Pinkvilla discusses.Written By Himesh Mankad 16249 reads  Mumbai Published: April 22, 2021 05:55 pm Mirroring The Industry: What’s the way forward for Bollywood? Radhe, Sooryavanshi, 83, Bell Bottom, SMJ 2

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On Wednesday, Salman Khan announced that his next, Radhe: Your Most Wanted Bhai, will opt for a hybrid release, suggesting that the film will release in cinema halls across the globe as also premiere directly on digital platform using the pay-per-view model on ZeePlex. The announcement led to conversations in the film trade if this is the path ahead for Bollywood films, and the common notion is – it’s going to be a wait and watch game. All eyes will be on May 13, to see the response that this format gets and if Salman Khan gets the expected eyeballs, this well might become the new norm ahead.

With that lets come to the discussion for the day, what’s the way forward for two of the biggest Bollywood releases – Sooryavanshi and 83? The two have held back on the film for over a year now, and the future even now looks uncertain. While some in the trade have already started to speculate that the two mega entertainers with Akshay Kumar and Ranveer Singh respectively, will also take the digital route, the fact at the moment remains that Reliance Entertainment is holding onto the film at this point of time for the theatres. However, meetings are happening on a day-to-day basis, and a trade insider reveals that the final call on release strategy for both the films will be taken by Mid-May, as multiple lockdowns are set to be lifted by then, thereby also leading to an expected drop in covid cases.What’s the way forward for two of the biggest Bollywood releases – Sooryavanshi and 83? The two have held back on the film for over a year now, and the future even now looks uncertain–

Team of both the films are not just talking to the theatre owners but also in constant conversation with the government authorities on the lockdown scenario as also the covid impact, as the idea is to bring both films on the big screen. The stakeholders of both the films have been brave to hold onto the release for so long, even at the cost of rising interest burden on the film, leading to spike in budget, though eventually, there will come a day when they might have to take the tough call. Given the present scenario, Independence Day seems like the earliest release slot for either of the two biggies, as they would want 100% occupancy in most of the states (particularly Mumbai City), which at this point of seems to be out of sight till the month of July. But well, it’s all wait and watch, till the final release model will probably be chalked out. We hope it’s theatrical, but well, these are tough times for every single person in the film industry and one must laud the efforts taken by these stakeholders – ranging from Akshay Kumar to Ranveer Singh, Rohit Shetty to Kabir Khan, as also Reliance Entertainment, to hold on to the release for more than a year.

While YRF films are confirmed for a theatrical release, even if it means holding on to them till January 2022, it leaves us with to discuss two more films – Satyameva Jayate 2 and Bell Bottom. While the John Abraham starrer was set for an Eid opening, Akshay Kumar’s thriller was poised to release two weeks post SMJ on May 28.  A source informs that SMJ 2 is a newly made film and the makers have the bandwidth to wait for next 6 months and bring it in cinemas. However, it’s a rather catch 22 scenario for team of Bell Bottom with the magnitude of films up in the kitty for Akshay Kumar. He is literally a mini-industry as his line up from June to January has films like Sooryavanshi, Bell Bottom, Atrangi Re, Prithviraj and Bachchan Pandey. Will he hold onto all the releases? Or will one of Sooryavanshi (due to time factor), Atrangi Re and Bell Bottom, take the direct to digital route? Well, only time shall say, as right now, no one in the industry can assure a theatrical release for their film, except Aditya Chopra. The smaller films are likely to opt for a direct to digital or hybrid model, depending on what suits their financial interest the best. No one in the industry can assure a theatrical release for their film, except Aditya Chopra… Salman took the hybrid route to safeguard interest of his future line up–

An insider informs that Salman too opted for the hybrid model of release as holding onto the film was getting difficult for him, as delay in release of Radhe, would push Antim further and delay in Antim will result in postponement of Tiger 3. Postponement of Tiger 3 will finally take an impact on Kabhi Eid Kabhi Diwali. And hence, the superstar devised the plan of a hybrid model, bringing the film in cinema halls in whichever possible area, and in the pay per view section for the rest of people, who can’t see it in cinemas near them or the audience who don’t want to take the risk of visiting the cinema halls. This safeguards the release plans of his other films.

What holds in the future for Bollywood biggies? Will PVOD and TVOD with cinema halls become a temporary release model for next six months, just like it has become in the US for Hollywood blockbusters like Wonder Woman and Kong vs Godzilla?  Do let us know in comment section below.

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