Mumbai, Mumbai will have to wait. With Maharashtra in the grip of swine flu and the country’s entertainment capital’s malls and multiplexes shut down for three days, much awaited films such as “Kaminey” and “Life Partner” will give the city a miss as these are released worldwide.
The swine flu scare has also led to a weeklong shutdown in Mumbai.
“We are going ahead with the release of the film (‘Kaminey’) this Friday across the country and worldwide. This will not include the markets of Mumbai, Thane and Navi Mumbai following the directive given by the government. We look forward to release the film in these regions as soon as the cinemas are given permission to re-open,” Siddharth Roy Kapur, CEO of UTV Motion Pictures said in a statement released here Wednesday.
“Being a corporate, we are fully insured for the two-day delay we are facing in these markets,” he added.
Aman Gill, director, domestic theatrical distribution of Studio 18, the distributors for “Life Partner”, echoed the view.
“We are going ahead with the worldwide release of ‘Life Partner’ as per schedule, as we can’t stop the release because the prints have already been dispatched. Except Mumbai, Thane and Navi Mumbai, we will release the film wherever we can,” Gill told IANS over phone from Mumbai.
Directed by Vishal Bhardwaj, “Kaminey” stars A-listers like Shahid Kapoor in a double role and Priyanka Chopra in the lead. Laugh-riot “Life Partner” has been directed by Rumy Jafry and stars Govinda, Tusshar Kapoor, Prachi Desai, Fardeen Khan and Geneila D’Souza.
While “Kaminey” is releasing with 1,200 prints worldwide, “Life Partner” is following suit with around 700 prints globally.
Trade pundits told IANS that the Maharashtra belt accounts for 30 percent of the all India collections for a movie while Delhi and Uttar Pradesh combine accounts for 30 percent of the total business.
Considering a long weekend with the Janmashtami and Independence Day holidays in tandem, insiders claim it to be a “lucrative” period despite any odds.
“We are expecting a very lucrative weekend. Despite all fears, there will be footfalls no matter what. And with both Janmashtami and Aug 15 holidays back-to-back, it is going to bring in a good business,” said a Mumbai distributor, on condition of anonymity.
Tushar Dhingra, COO, BIG Cinemas, however, shrugged off any news about the multiplex closure.
“We have not received any official information about the shut down of the multiplex for next three days. So I am not in any position to comment on this. But if this happens then we will co-operate because health is a priority and you can’t compromise on that,” he told IANS.
Other leading multiplex chains like INOX and Fame refused to comment.