By Manishaa R
With Akshay Kumar’s mass-following and the socially relevant subject of Padman, it is only imperative to have a huge release, say exhibitors
With Neeraj Pandey’s Aiyaary now being deferred to February 16, Padman is said to be heading for a massive solo release across India in a good number of screens. The decision has been welcomed by exhibitors some of whom were in a dilemma about allocating screens to Padman and Aiyaary in the face of rising demand for Padmaavat, which is growing on the audiences in its second week.
Well-known distributor and exhibitor Akshaye Rathi, who has screens across Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh, feels that it advantage Padman, which deserves a good number of screens in keeping with Akshay Kumar’s mass-following and the subject, “Padman is a subject that calls for serious endorsement not just in the Indian markets but over the world. Also Akshay Kumar shares a great connect with the masses. His films certainly deserve a wide release. When you are dabbling with a subject that is socially relevant, it is only imperative for it to have a huge release,” Rathi says.
According to distributor-exhibitor Rajesh Thadani the decision to postpone Aiyaary by a week, will not work just for Padman but for Aiyaary too, “The clash between the two films would have affected both due to the limited number of screens. Also Padmaavat is performing very well so the decision is good for everyone concerned. It will now be interesting to watch how the screens are divided between Padmaavat and Padman,” Thadani says.
Aiyaary should not be underestimated says exhibitor Akshaye Rathi
Would Aiyaary have changed the equation for Padman, apart from the number of screens? According to Rathi, the potential of Aiyaary cannot be overlooked for the simple reason that it has the formidable name of Neeraj Pandey as director, “Neeraj Pandey is among the few directors who has time and again succeeded in making entertaining and engaging films. Knowing that he is the man behind Aiyaary, it would be incorrect to underestimate the possibility of the film,” Rathi avers. On the other hand, Rathi feels that Akshay Kumar’s films invariably make a mark at the box-office irrespective of the competition, “Akshay Kumar is among the few stars in the industry who has consistently delivered box-office success. Almost every film he does is made on a moderate budget and assures a definite lifetime business of a minimum Rs 100 cr. It doesn’t matter whether his films have a solo release,” Rathi states.
“We want Padman to reach to the maximum number of audiences,” says producer Prernaa Arora
Meanwhile the pre-release curiosity for Padman has reached a new high with celebrities from Aamir Khan to Varun Dhawan, Anushka Shetty, Alia Bhatt and others, taking on the #Padmanchallenge and endorsing the message of the film. According to producer Prernaa Arora, there is a positive buzz surrounding the release of the film not just in India but the international market too, “It is now a global film after it was spoken about in Oxford Union, the world’s most prestigious debating society. We want it to reach the maximum number of audiences. Also it is the boldest film ever and kudos to Akshay sir for that. He has never shied away from taking up films with socially relevant issues, be it Toilet Ek Prem Katha earlier or Padman now. He is the true hero of the masses,” she says.
As of now Sony Pictures is said to be lining up a huge release for Padman in the range of 2800-3000 screens, “Sony pictures is an international studio that has solid clout in the Indian and international market. It will go the extra mile to ensure that the film gets an extraordinary release,” Rathi says.