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Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s period drama Padmavati was scheduled to release today before Viacom 18 Motion Pictures voluntarily deferred the release date. Now, following the Parliamentary Panel meeting on Thursday, rumours are rife that the makers are planning to release the long awaited film on 12 January.
However, there is no official word of confirmation on the new date. Given the sheer volume of films that Bollywood is churning out every month, there is a paucity of release dates.
While the big budget entertainer would have enjoyed a solo release on 1 December, there is little hope of it seeing the light of the day this year. With every Friday of December packed with at least two releases (both Bollywood and Hollywood), Padmavati will not get the same positioning as it was getting originally.
Deepika Padukone in a still from Padmavati
Production houses are already reserving release date of their films for not only next year but also 2019, as is the case with Kabir Khan’s sports drama 83, starring Ranveer Singh in the role of former Indian cricket team captain Kapil Dev, which is slated to release on 5 April, 2019.
In 2018, the first favourable release date of Padmavati would be 12 January, the immediate Friday before Makar Sakranti. However, there is low probability that the makers would be able to ensure a smooth release, given the current state of protests against its release.
Also, the film is yet to be certified by the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) which recently imposed the rule that the makers must submit their film for certification 68 days in advance of their expected release date. Besides, even if Padmavati affords to book 12 January as its release date, it will clash with Vikram Bhatt’s horror film 1921, starring Zareen Khan and Karan Kundra.
The next potential big release date is 26 January, the Republic Day weekend. Since S Shankar’s science fiction entertainer 2.0 has reportedly been postponed, it would have been a good window for Bhansali. However, Akshay Kumar and Neeraj Pandey pulled their releases, R Balki’s Padman and Sidharth Malhotra starrer Aiyaary, ahead to 26 January. Given Kumar’s pan-Indian popularity and the patriotic flavour of Pandey’s film, Bhansali’s historical will have a tough time holding its own at the box office.
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