Who's afraid of IPL

Who's afraid of IPL

If ads promoting IPL are to be believed, life would be on hold for the entire country and its aunt, for the duration of the entire tournament, as everyone dumps everything to be catching every minute live.

Past seasons of Indian Premier League have confirmed this, with even Bollywood taking a backseat of its volition. Producers and filmmakers in the past have deferred their film releases during IPL matches.

But this year the strategy has totally changed, for even though the so called ‘cricket mania’ kicked off on April 4 multiplexes are still doing brisk business with the latest releases.

The best example is multi-starrer Housefull 2 Sajid Khan’s sequel to his hit comedy of 2010 which took on IPL on April 6 and won the first round by netting 45 crores in the opening weekend.

There are other big films in the line up. Viacom 18 Motion Pictures’ is releasing Bittoo Boss come April 13; John Abraham’s maiden production Vicky Donor is releasing on April 20, and Vidhu Vinod Chopra is coming up with Ferrari ki Sawari on April 27 alongwith Priyadarshan’s action-thriller Tezz.

Emraan Hashmi starrer Jannat 2 is slated for release on May 4 while Karisma Kapoor makes her comeback with Dangerous Ishq on May 11. Even Yash Raj Films, which usually plays safe with their homeproductions, preferring to release around major holidays like Diwali are now coming up with Ishaqzaade on the same day. RGV is back after a long hiatus with Department on May 18.

But aren’t films running the risk of losing prized audiences? Says Kumar Mangat producer of Bittoo Boss: “I have many reasons to release this film at this time. Of course, we have changed our  strategy which was brought about by the success of Pyaar Ka Punchnaama last year, which released in May and crossed 1.50 crore net in its third week. This time too we are hoping for wonders to happen as people are already are talking about the movie.

“I am expecting 12-13 crores on the opening day. I am positive about its success because of its story and there is no screening of IPL matches in multiplexes so far as BCCI hasn’t released the rights for screening matches live in movie halls this season. The best example is Housefull 2 which has a fantastic opening collection. Perhaps the IPL madness is fading.”

Ashish Saxena, CEO Big  Cinemas says, “Unlike previous years this year the crowd of movie lovers is the same as it was before the IPL matches started. In fact, it has increased. This year we have fantastic films lined up during IPL.

Its great that filmmakers are not afraid of IPL anymore. As far as BCCI permission of not displaying matches is concerned, enough revenue is being generated by movies like Housefull 2.

The response of the audiences is encouraging.”

A student Preeti Padhania also agrees with the view: “ I watched Housefull 2 despite IPL because IPL no more interests me.”

But cricket lovers will be cricket lovers. Another student of Delhi University Praful Mahajan says, “Though cricket fans are disheartened by the performance of players in other matches, IPL is something which brings together cricketers from all over the world and that is why its so much fun to follow it.

Cheering for your home team has its own charm. I am a movie lover and do watch the latest movies but watching match during IPL is a priority for me. Movies can be watched later too.”

There are two sides to every coin, but this time it looks like movies won the toss.

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