Fenil’s Bollywood Talk # 828


Traditionally, the period of April and May has been lucrative for the movie business. This is a time when exams are over and vacations are going on for students. The hot weather also makes it favourable for the aam junta to spend their time in air-conditioned theatres rather than in the open. However, it has been observed that in the last year, the industry is not making good use of the summer months. Earlier, the reason for having fewer releases was the holy month of Ramzan, when a section of the audience stayed away. Meanwhile, IPL was also given as an excuse to not release films when the fact is so many films have overperformed right from the first season of the cricket tournament.

And this year, filmmakers have brought a new excuse to avoid releasing films in April and May – the elections! The voting for the Lok Sabha Elections began on April 19 and will end on June 1. As it’s common knowledge, the election is being held in seven phases. It doesn’t take more than an hour for a voter to cast his/her vote. Most offices will give an off on the day of voting. As a result, the citizen is free after exercising his/her right and can go to catch a film in a theatre. This shows that this is a great time to release films.

On the flipside, due to election rallies, certain towns might come to a standstill. Also, as per local laws, a few towns might ask cinema owners to remain shut until 6:00 pm on the day of voting. Yet, this is not a big issue. The effect of the election might hamper the collections for a day or two at the maximum, that too in very few places in the country. The rest of the country will function normally. And if the film is enticing enough, the moviegoer will anyhow watch it in the evening show once cinemas resume operations or on some other day.

Hence, it’s quite logical that the election effect on the box office is the bare minimum. Yet, the industry collectively has decided to stay away from the theatres until the end of the voting season.
This is the first time this has happened.

If one goes back in time, one realizes that many films did wonders at the box office despite the election fever. During the previous Lok Sabha Elections in 2019, Avengers: Endgame did record business. Kalank flopped but had a fine opening. De De Pyaar De was also a decent success while Student Of The Year 2, too, drew the audience, at least in the first weekend.

In 2014, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 and 2 States proved to be successful. There was a multiplex strike going on during the 2009 elections and hence, there were no releases. But Main Hoon Na came in the middle of the 2004 Lok Sabha Elections and it was a huge hit.

It thus proves that elections are just an excuse. There are hardly any releases this month and from June, there will be overcrowding and clashes. So many films are ready and had they been released in May, they would have been bigger hits.

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