In the initial years, the IPL season severely affected the release of the film. Cricket lovers shunned movies running in favour of the cricket season. The two month-long cricket tournament would put Bollywood in a panic mode, and in the following years, there were less or no releases during that period. However, industry insiders and trade analysts reveal that it’s just not the same case anymore. Trade analyst Komal Nahata says, “Initially these cricket seasons did affect movie business. However, in the past few years the success of films even during this season has instilled confidence among filmmakers who are now no more bothered by the sport hogging screen space.”
He points out that last year films like Housefull 2, Ishaqzaade, Vicky Donor, Hate Story, Jannat 2 (that is almost five of the 20 releases during the IPL last year) had done roaring business. The Akshay Kumar-starrer had gone on to become one of the highest grossers. “The ratio of hits is the same as it would without the cricket season,” adds Nahta. Ekta Kapoor’s production house Balaji Motion Pictures has two big ticket releases coming up, Ek Thi Daayan and Shootout At Wadala this season. Tanuj Garg, CEO of Balaji explains, “Earlier too our films like Ragini MMS and others have done good business.
Past box office records have proven that a good film does good business with or without any such cricket season. People do take time out for something they want to watch. A good film will work and a bad film won’t, it’s as simple as that.” Apoorva Lakhia, whose Zanjeer releases in the midst of the season, echoes the sentiment, “Cricket may affect the show time that the audience will prefer to catch the film in, but the sport is certainly not going to come in the way of the theatre-going audience.” However, like last year, this time around too, towards the last two final weeks of the match, no biggie has been lined up.