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EXCLUSIVE: Even as cinema reopens, here's why Sooryavanshi, '83 or Radhe won't hit screens on Diwali

With theatres resuming business from October 15, industry insiders reveal why no big film or star - whether it's Salman Khan, Akshay Kumar or Ranveer Singh - will take the Diwali bait this year. Read full details inside.

After an over six months lockdown with theatres remaining shut, the Government has finally granted permission to cinema owners and exhibitors to resume work. While this news has left everyone in the industry happy, there has also been speculations about which films are planning to hit the screens right now.

An exhibitor, on condition of anonymity, shared with us, "The initial plan won't stand anymore. Reliance Entertainment had discussed with Akshay Kumar and Rohit Shetty and planned a Diwali 2020 release for Sooryavanshi. They had also blocked the Christmas date for Ranveer Singh starrer '83. But the theatres were expected to open up by August then. Now, it seems unlikely that Sooryavanshi will release on Diwali. They are looking at a complete rejig of dates with the cop drama hitting the marquee on December 25, instead of the sports drama. Kabir Khan's '83 will mostly be pushed to the first quarter of 2021."

Our informer further added, "On the other hand, there was a slight chance of Coolie No.1 or Laxmmi Bomb taking up the big Diwali weekend but they are already contractually bound with OTT giants. Salman Khan starrer Radhe also has two weeks of shoot left that will only be complete by mid-October, so putting out a trailer and a whole campaign and releasing it in less than a month will be an almost impossible task. Also, the big films want to see how the audience response is to the other movies releasing and then they will take a call."

We reached out to Shibasish Sarkar, CEO, Reliance Entertainment, whose two films are ready for a theatrical release. He shares, "As of now, we haven't locked any release date for either Sooryavanshi or '83. Whatever is being said by the trade are all speculations and what they think will be ideal. But it's our film and I can tell you that we will take a call only after a meeting with Rohit Shetty and Kabir Khan. Yes, we had wanted to release Sooryvanshi on Diwali but it won't happen for sure. For my film's campaign to begin, I would need at least four weeks of promotion starting mid-October. It doesn't seem feasible."

There's another reason why the producers might want to wait it out a little bit more, Shibasish explains, "Right now, there's a ray of hope with the Government asking theatres to resume business with 50% capacity. But it needs to be seen if all the States are willing to reopen their theatres and that answer will only come on October 15. If all States don't open up, then it's another wait for us."

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