2018 has begun, and the film industry is already in the shuffle mode, with many release dates announced and many already changing their release dates. With Padmavati reportedly arriving on January 25th alongside PadMan, it has sent multiple other films scrambling for new release dates. Not to forget the marketing spends and media plan too go for a toss.
Aiyaary which was previously coming on 25th Jan, has had better judgment and the producer has decided to postpone it to 9th Feb rather than clashing with Padmavati and Padman.
Producer of Aiyaary Jayantilal Gada justifies it. He said, “I moved my film because of Padmavati, the filmmaker is already is so much stress and harassed and all I can do is support him and we are not politicians.’’
However 9th Feb already had two other films scheduled for release, Sonu Ki Titu Ki Sweety and Pari, thus creating a three-film clash on 9th Feb, but better sense prevailed. The makers of Pari have announced that they will postpone the release to 2nd March and avoid a three-film clash. But 2nd March already has Dharma Productions’ Drive and Hate Stories 3 scheduled to release. Kriaj Entertainment’s Pari will be clashing with Sushant Singh Rajput’s film who again is the hero of one of their most ambitious films, Kedarnath. An insider said, “the reason Pari moved is that Padman is releasing on month end and they don’t want any of their films to come in the way so moved to Holi.’’
Parmanu is scheduled to release on February 23rd along with Hichki. We also hear that the makers of Boom Boom New York starring Diljit Dosanjh, Sonakshi and Karan Johar have announced February 23rd as their release date. The makers had to move the release of two of their films Parmanu and Pari because of Padmvaat and are also looking at an alternate date for Kedarnath.
This year is certainly going to be the year of reshuffles. Trade analyst Amod Mehra said, “We usually have about 25 medium and big-ticket films that has doubled in 2018 and that is why this reshuffle and shift of release dates. January has just begun we are already hearing three films releases shifting."
Last week Baaghi 2 decided to prepone their release date to 30th March from the earlier 27th April when they heard the news that the Dutt Biopic is postponing from 30th March to 29th June, thus leaving 27th April clear for Robot 2.0 and Avengers. However, Saif Ali Khan’s Bazaar which previously didn’t have a release date, decided to announce 27th April and once again making it a three-film clash..
Some trade pundits blame the shift of release dates of big films not only create confusion but also incur expenditures for other small and medium budget films. Media observer Shailesh Kapoor said, “Reshuffle of release dates early in 2018 has created confusion, both among the trade and the viewers. A lot of these reshuffles are a result of the Padmavati controversy that erupted in November 2017. While this will not impact box office too much, it definitely impacts marketing. For example, Aiyaary was being promoted for a Jan 26 release, and with a two-week delay, the film will have to pump in additional marketing budgets. I expect things to settle down once Padmavati is released.’’
If the film’s release is pushed by two or three weeks the marketing expenditure increases. Distributor and exhibitor Rajesh Thadani said, “The expenses go up by 25 to 30 percent because smaller films need to be pushed if they need to survive and perform at the box office.’’
Marketing consultant Deepesh Shah who has worked on projects like Bajrangi Bhaijan and Tubelight said, “Change of release date for a film has a huge impact on marketing. A marketing campaign is designed basis multiple internal and external factors. Any change impacts the effectiveness and investments done. '' The shift or the reshuffle effects the pace of the campaign which can have a spiral impact.''
Speaking about the average spends, Shah informed, “An average marketing campaign investment ranges between Rs 6-8 crs for medium scale film while big films the investment is around 12-16 crs.''
Before the Dutt Biopic shifted to 29th June, the Diljit Dosanjh Taapsee Pannu film Soorma was scheduled for 29th June, and now they are looking for a new date as they definitely will want to avoid clashing with a Rajkumar Hirani-Ranbir Kapoor film. Dhadhak which was scheduled for 7th July a week after the Dutt Biopic is rumoured to be delayed by a week to avoid Dutt Biopic for two weeks.
There are already multiple releases planned for December with two on 7th December Namaste England 2 and Total Dhaamal 3, one will definitely shift as a clash is pointless for both, and 21st December having Zero and Kedarnath and 28th December having Simmba, in such a clutter Kedarnath will look to shift ahead into early 2019. Though the director Abhishek Kapoor is still wanting a clash with SRK film but the makers are definitely looking for an alternate date for Kedarnath.
Let’s keep watching this merry go around every few months to see whose egos win in clashes and dates tussle!