Focus back on OTT originals as new releases on big screen hit by Omicron

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Prabhas’ ‘Radhe Shyam’ release postponed amid Omicron concerns; the release of Jersey and RRR also affected; ‘Gehraiyaan’ has new release date on Amazon

Our Bureau
Mumbai

Fans of superstar Prabhas will have to wait a little longer to witness the much-anticipated story of ‘love and destiny’ as the makers of ‘Radhe Shyam’ have postponed the release of the movie due to a surge in COVID-19 cases.

Taking to their Twitter handle, the makers released an official statement noting, “We have been trying our best for the past few days but considering the growing cases of omicron variant it looks like we will have to wait for our labour of love to get to the big screens.” “Radhe Shyam is a story about love vs destiny and we are sure that your love will help us rise over these tough times together. Will see you in the cinemas soon!!” the statement concluded.

Helmed by Radha Krishna Kumar, ‘Radhe Shyam’, which stars Pooja Hegde opposite Prabhas, was scheduled to hit the screens on January 14, 2022. No new release date has been unveiled yet.

When Sooryavanshi released last November, it was a money spinner and garnered a cool Rs 180 crore at the box office. The mood of gloom was now all optimism and the average performance of 83 was overshadowed by the sparkling run of both Spider-Man: No Way Home and the Hindi dubbed version of Pushpa.

The festive season for Bollywood starts off with Dussehra all the way to the second week of January – and is the most important period from a commercial point of view. Producers, especially those with a big-budget, want to get the most from this window. Starting end December 2021, we saw 83 hit the theatres but everything after that has been postponed. 

First it was Jersey, a Shahid Kapoor-starrer, to be followed by some seriously big projects, like RRR, a film directed by S S Rajamouli of Baahubali fame and which has a budget of Rs 450 crore, and Radhe Shyam, a film starring Prabhas with an outlay of Rs 350 crore. The stakes are huge since these two films are multi-lingual – to be released in Hindi and at least one of the south Indian languages. “The moment it is more than one language, a release during this phase is extremely difficult,” says trade analyst Taran Adarsh. If Mumbai and Delhi are badly affected by the virus, a release in the south cannot make good the revenue loss. “The producers will have to contend with how to tackle the overseas markets too. Without any doubt, the situation is most challenging and not a good one to be in.”

Officially, the release of Jersey, RRR and Radhe Shyam have been deferred. Top that up with Prithviraj, a Yashraj Films production starring Akshay Kumar scheduled for a 21 January release, with a budget of over Rs 200 crore and suddenly one is staring at money to the tune of Rs 1,000 crore in limbo. Aman Gill, co-producer of Jersey, says the only option is to “wait and watch.” To him, the collections between October and December for some of the films was most encouraging. “The audience was waiting to be in the theatre but the situation is suddenly worrisome.”

Meanwhile, on the occasion of lead actor Deepika Padukone’s birthday, makers of the upcoming romantic drama ‘Gehraiyaan’ unveiled the new release date and posters of the Amazon Original movie.

The intense posters released on Wednesday revealed that the Amazon Original movie will have its OTT world premiere across more than 240 countries and territories on February 11, 2022. Directed by Shakun Batra, the much-awaited movie looks beneath the surface of complex modern relationships, adulting, letting go and taking control of ones’ life path.

The newly released posters include captivating individual character posters for the lead cast, a heart-warming poster featuring Deepika who will play the role of Alisha and Siddhant Chaturvedi as Zain and an ensemble poster with the leads.

Adding to the curiosity and intrigue around the movie, the posters tease the audience with what one can expect with this relationship drama.

The posters were first shared by Deepika, who dedicated this to her fans. “On this special day, a little birthday present for all the love you have showered us with!”

Alongside Deepika and Siddhant, the film also features Ananya Panday as Tia and Dhairya Karwa as Karan in the lead along with Naseeruddin Shah and Rajat Kapur in pivotal roles.

Jointly produced by Dharma Productions, Viacom18 and Shakun Batra’s Jouska Films, the movie will now have its world premiere exclusively on Amazon Prime Video on February 11, 2022.

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