With Padmavati release unlikely to happen soon, distributors and exhibitors now shift focus to Salman starrer, Tiger Zinda Hai

With no promising film in sight and the release of Padmavati deferred indefinitely, the film trade is now looking at Tiger Zinda Hai to revive the box-office.

By Manishaa R

With the CBFC yet to take a call on Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Padmavati and protests continuing unabated, distributors and exhibitors who had reserved the December 1 slot for the magnum opus, have now shifted their focus on the 22nd December release of the Salman starrer, Tiger Zinda Hai.  According to Manoj Desai, Executive Director of G-7 multiplex in Mumbai, the only other film that exhibitors are counting to set the cash registers ringing towards the end of the year is Tiger Zinda Hai, “We exhibitors were optimistic that 2017 would end on a grand note with two big films. Padmavati was one of them but now that the film’s release is unlikely to happen for the next few weeks, Tiger Zinda Hai, would be the only other film to count upon, provided it goes ahead with its scheduled release date and takes the box-office by storm,” Desai said, adding that the last big film that did really good business was Golmaal Again, “It certainly brought a smile on the faces of both the audiences and exhibitors but the occupancy of theatres thereafter has dropped sharply,” he said.

“There were two other distributors in the race to acquire Padmavati but we opted out after crowds went on a rampage. As of now, the film has been officially called off by the Government in Rajasthan”- Raj Bansal, Leading Rajasthan Distributor

Veteran Rajasthan distributor, Raj Bansal, who had expressed a keen interest in acquiring Padmavati for the territory but decided not to go ahead, revealed that he was now readying for the release of Tiger Zinda Hai, “We are hoping that the year ends on a great note with Tiger Zinda Hai. The film is carrying excellent pre-release reports and there is huge anticipation among audiences,” Bansal said, adding that he decided against the idea of acquiring Padmavati after the controversy surrounding the film took an ugly turn, “There were two other distributors in the race too but none of us went ahead after the protests intensified and crowds went on a rampage targeting theatres. As of now, the film has been officially called off by the Government in Rajasthan,” Bansal revealed, adding that a proper dialogue would have averted the controversy surrounding the release, “The three organisations which should have ideally taken a collective call would have been Bhansali Productions, the Karni Sena and the CBFC but I guess everything happened rather swiftly,” he said.  According to a leading Gujarat exhibitor who spoke on the condition of anonymity, now that the release of Padmavati would have to wait for a CBFC clearance, after the Parliamentary panel meeting, the Salman starrer, Tiger Zinda Hai, would be the only viable option, “At least it’s clear that the film will not make it this year so the other big option is Tiger Zinda Hai, which is the film we are counting on to set the box-office on fire once again. A majority of films released in the last few weeks have been inconsequential,” he said.

According to leading Mumbai distributor and exhibitor, Ramesh Sippy, the entire trade was now looking at Tiger Zinda Hai to prove is worth at the box-office, considering the dismal collections of films in the last few weeks,  “Honestly speaking, the industry is going through a state of depression. We all had great business expectations from the third quarter of this year, with Padmavati in the first week of December and Tiger Zinda Hai in the third week but now the whole attention has been shifted to Tiger Zinda Hai. When distributors and exhibitors end the third quarter on a high note, they can sustain comfortably from January to March. Now I guess even the success of Tiger Zinda Hai, will not be enough to sustain the spirits.