Though the norm is to avoid January releases, 2020 will have a slew of films to pick from.
Big films usually shy away from releasing in the first few days of January, ostensibly because the audience would be short of moolah after binging on the new year. Another reason why films did not release in early January was due to the winter in the north, which meant that people stayed at home instead of moving out in the extreme cold to watch films.
However, there are exceptions to every trend, and Rajkumar Gupta’s 2011 film No One Killed Jessica, starring Rani Mukerji and Vidya Balan, rendered the naysayers speechless.
Upcoming films that are likely to follow suit are Ajay Devgn’s Tanhaji as well as Deepika Padukone’s Chhapaak, slated for release on January 10. Down south, Tamil films Pongal, the Rajnikanth starrer Darbar, as well as the Prabhudeva starrer Pon Manickavel. The A.R. Murugadoss directed Darbar will also simultaneously release in Hindi in a big way, as it also has actors like Suniel Shetty and Prateik in it.
“Earlier, people used to walk or cycle to theatres in the cold. But with the emergence of multiplexes and better lifestyles, people come in their cars and park the cars within the multiplex premises and then go and watch films. That has been one reason why early January sees good footfall in the multiplexes and the large single screens as well. Hence, filmmakers are not shying from releasing their films in January,” opines Atul Mohan, editor Complete Cinema.
The film trade is also gung-ho about this slew of films because all these films are of different genres. “Ajay Devgn’s film Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior is about Indian history and is packed with action sequences with a dash of deshbhakti and emotion. Deepika’s film is an emotional journey of courage displayed by an acid attack survivor. Rajini sir’s film will certainly be a biggie in the south, and it will do decent business in the north as well because of the premise of the film that is set in Mumbai. So on one hand, we can call it a big clash, but it may not necessarily cannibalise into each other’s business,” adds Mohan.
Interestingly, there will be another clash during Republic Day week, when Kangana Ranaut will take Panga with Street Dancer 3D, starring Varun Dhawan and Shraddha Kapoor. Kangana had released her film Manikarnika this Republic Day, and despite clocking over Rs 95 crores, the film was not something that got the producers filling their coffers.