Salman Khan’s Eid releases are always a big deal for his fans and theatre owners because any film featuring the Bhai in the lead during the festive season holds the promise of bringing in crores in terms of revenue to multiplexes and single screen theatres across India. However, this year the release of Radhe will not get the same reception and it’s not just because of the pandemic and resultant lockdown.
According to industry sources, with 90% of theatres being shut Radhe will open only on 70-80 screens on 13 May. Usually, in a pre-COVID world during Eid, a Salman Khan film would get around 4000 screens all over India if it's a solo release, or at least 2500 screens if the film were clashing with another big release.
Also, according to insiders, several multiplex chains have decided not to screen Radhe because the film has opted for an OTT release simultaneously. Last year, also there was a collective decision taken by exhibitors to not give films releasing on OTT a theatrical release. However, the Multiplex Association of India has not issued any official statement regarding this boycott of sorts. It is being said that each theatre chain is making an independent decision based on their company policy and so no unanimous call has been taken yet.
Due to the COVID spike, most states have shut down theatres and those which are still open are not seeing any footfalls. The states which still have cinema theatres open are:
Jammu and Kashmir
Exhibitors who have been suffering huge losses ever since the lockdown continue to pin their hopes on studios and producers like YRF and Reliance Entertainment, who are still sticking to their promise of releasing their films exclusively in theatres when they open. YRF has pushed the release of their films Bunty Aur Babli 2 and Reliance Entertainment has once again pushed the release of their Akshay Kumar-starrer Sooryavanshi.
Salman Khan starrer Radhe: Your Most Wanted Bhai is scheduled to release on 13 May as an Eid release. The film will also be available to preview as pay-per-view streaming on ZEE5 and ZEEPlex.
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