AD­VANCE BOOK­ING

Not just 2016, fes­tive week­ends of 2017 are also booked for big-ticket re­leases

Hindustan Times (Patna) - Live - - Front Page - Prashant Singh ■ prashant. singh@ hin­dus­tan­times. com

It has al­most be­come a norm in Bol­ly­wood to pre-book ma­jor re­lease dates — in­clud­ing public hol­i­days as well as fes­tive week­ends. Now, film­mak­ers seem to be tak­ing this trend a step fur­ther, as many have started book­ing big week­ends two years in ad­vance.

Thus, ac­tor-film­maker Ar­baaz Khan has ap­par­ently al­ready booked Eid 2017 for Da­bangg 3, which will star his brother, Sal­man Khan. The se­quel to Ajay Devgn’s 2012 hit, Son Of Sar­daar, has also been lined up for Di­wali 2017. “If choos­ing the cor­rect re­leasere date can make an im­pactim of 30-40% in the col­lec­tions,coc what’s wrong with it? Even av­er­age films do well around this time be­cause peo­ple have the time an and money dur­ing the fes­tive se sea­son,” says film­maker V Vipul Shah.

Mean­while, 2016’s big week­ends have also been booked. The Re­pub­lic Day week­end will see the Ak­shay Ku­mar-star­rer, Air­lift. Eid is se set for a clash be­tween Shah Rukh Khan’s Raees and Sal­man’s Sultan. The In In­de­pen­dence Day week­end w will see Hrithik Roshan’s Mo­henjo Daro hit the big screen. Di­wali has two re­leases lines up — Ajay’s Shivaay and Varun Dhawan’s Shud­dhi. Aamir Khan will re­claim his favourite re­lease slot, Christ­mas, with Dan­gal.

Film­maker Vikas Bahl is happy that big stars like the Khans are block­ing fes­tive re­lease dates. “It’s good that the Khans are re­leas­ing films dur­ing these fes­tive pe­ri­ods. It’s good be­cause it brings more money (to the box of­fice), and helps small films,” he says.

Trade an­a­lysts do not seem to be in favour of the trend. “Film­mak­ers an­nounce re­lease dates sim­ply to black­mail ac­tors into do­ing their films. Se­condly, block­ing a big re­lease date doesn’t mean no other film can come on that day. It’s a bul­ly­ing tac­tic of sorts. Your con­tent should have power and qual­ity ... Look at Tanu Weds Manu Re­turns and ABCD 2; they re­leased on non-fes­tive dates,” says trade ex­pert Amod Mehra.

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