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Latest Covid spike forces filmmakers to delay releases

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cinemas1By Anjuri Nayar Singh (IANS) With theatres reopening, Bollywood announced a host of big films for theatrical release over the next months. However, with the latest surge in Covid cases, multiple films are now being postponed.

Among the most-hyped films being pushed for now is the Amitabh Bachchan-Emraan Hashmi starrer “Chehre”, which was scheduled to arrive on April 9. The Rani Mukerji-Saif Ali Khan starrer “Bunty Aur Babli 2” will not be releasing on its scheduled date, April 23, either. The Rana Daggubati-starrer “Haathi Mere Saathi” (originally slated for March 26), has also been pushed for now despite its Telugu version “Aranya” and Tamil version “Kaadan” having opened on the designated date. Ram Gopal Varma’s “D Company” and the Punjabi biggie “Puaada”, starring Ammy Virk and Sonam Bajwa, are also awaiting new release dates now.

A rough film trade estimate suggests Rs 105 crore is at stake with these projects getting delayed.

Trade analyst Atul Mohan agrees that the delay is going to cost filmmakers money. “These films have been promoted heavily but are not releasing. Now whenever the new release date is decided, they would have to be promoted again. Also, the makers have to bear the interest of these investments on these projects,” he says.

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However most in the trade feel this is the only way out for now.

“The film industry is already bleeding, but health is most important and producers are realising this. Also, because of night curfew in Maharashtra, theatres can’t have shows beyond 8pm. Delaying the release is a step in the right direction,” says trade analyst Taran Adarsh.

Talking about the decision to delay his film’s release, “Chehre” producer Anand Pandit said in a statement: “Considering the situation and safety of our audiences and fans which is of utmost importance to us, we have decided to postpone our film ‘Chehre’. The team has taken immense efforts to make it a great cinematic experience and we are looking forward to our audiences coming to the theatres safely,”

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A statement put out by the “Haathi Mere Saathi” team read: “Dear viewers, It pains us to share this news but given the Covid-19 situation in the Hindi markets, the team of ‘Haathi Mere Saathi’ has decided to hold on to the release of the film. We shall keep you posted on further developments. However, we will be releasing ‘Aranya’ and ‘Kaadan’ in the South markets on the 26th of March.”

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Here’s a quick check on the films being postponed for now:

Chehre

Directed by Rumy Jafry, “Chehre” will no longer release on April 9. The psychological thriller stars actors Amitabh Bachchan, Emraan Hashmi and Rhea Chakraborty.

Haathi Mere Saathi

The Rana Daggubati starrer was slated to hit screens on March 26. However, it has been postponed due to the rising Covid cases, particularly in Mumbai. However, the Tamil and Telugu versions, “Kaadan” and “Aranya”, have released as per schedule.

Bunty Aur Babli 2

The follow-up to the 2005 hit “Vunty Aur Babli” was expected to hit screens on April 23. However, it was been postponed indefinitely. The film stars Rani Mukerji, Saif Ali Khan, Siddhant Chaturvedi and Sharvari Wagh.

Puaada

The release of Ammy Virk and Sonam Bajwa-starrer Punjabi rom-com was originally set to happen in June last year, but was delayed because of the pandemic. Two release dates have since been announced — March 11 and April 2. However, the film has been deferred again, from its April 2 date.

D Company

Ram Gopal Varma’s new gangster drama has also been pushed for release. The filmmaker recently took to Twitter to announce the news.

Source: IANS

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