Ever since the release of Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s PADMAVATI was pushed indefinitely by the makers, the situation has been a ticking time bomb for all the major releases in the new year. From mid-November only there has been a lot of speculation as to when the movie’s new release date will be announced. Many in the trade believed that the movie will come out on Valentine’s Day week i.e. 9th February 2018 many thought that the movie will come out on the Republic Day weekend and there were some who actually thought the movie won’t ever see the light of day, period.

Well, last week the makers officially announced what many already knew that the movie will be indeed coming out on the Republic Day weekend i.e. 25th January 2018. There are already another two movies which were lining up to release on the same date in Akshay Kumar’s PADMAN and director Neeraj Pandey’s AIYAARY; just moments after the announcement, the makers of AIYAARY moved their release date to February 9th but Akshay Kumar and his team continued to be firm and prepared for the clash.

Now many sections of the trade are getting into the argument that Viacom 18, the makers of PADMAVATI shouldn’t have come on a date which was already announced by two other makers but hey, we are in the business of filmmaking and anything that boosts the business can never be disregarded so plainly. It’s obvious that it is a business decision and they’re entitled to it. But their sudden release plans have surely thrown more than a spanner in the works for many a makers in the industry.

AIYAARY is the first ones to face the brunt, but then there are the makers of SONU KI TITU KI SWEETY who are now going to share the release date with AIYAARY. On the other hand, PARI, Anushka Sharma’s next which was initially supposed to come out on February 9th, as well moved their release date to March 3rd and will now be clashing with Dharma Production’s DRIVE on the same date. Many a smaller releases around the February and March period and some even up in April have been effected by this sudden date announcement. But having said that, the makers of PADMAVATI needed to show some sense of spirit of gamesmanship; but hey, once again you can’t blame them here as no one in the industry actually came together to help them in their hour of need either.

There is still some talk that the release of the movie won’t be smooth as there are many fringe groups still campaigning to make sure that the movie doesn’t have a normal release. This could in fact be an issue for PADMAN as well as they will be dragged into the whole issue as they’re going to be sharing a lot of screens with PADMAVATI in a couple of weeks all across the country.

Something tells us that this isn’t going to be the last bit of twists in this already twisted tale. I guess we will have to wait and watch and play it by the ear, how it all unfolds. Trade Magazine