Team India's recent drubbing encourages Bollywood to release movies during IPL

Cricket’s popularity is going southwards and this evident from the fact that average ratings of the fourth IPL were the lowest among all the seasons Getty Images

By CricketCountry Staff

Mumbai: Jan 24, 2012

Team India s humiliation Down Under after the annihilation in England may have saddened the fans, but Bollywood is seizing this opportunity by lining up a string of releases during the busy cricket season.

Earlier, Bollywood used to defer new movie launches during the Indian Premier League (IPL) Season in April-May, but this year at least half-a-dozen big films, with close to Rs 200 crore riding on them, have planned their releases during the cash-rich event.

“IPL has lost its charm,” Utpal Acharya, head of distribution and acquisition at Reliance Entertainment, which has co-produced the Karishma Kapoor-starrer Dangerous Ishq, was quoted saying in the Economic Times.

“We are confident that audiences will visit cinema halls irrespective of IPL this year.”

Sajid Nadiadwala , who is releasing a sequel to the successful comedy flick, Housefull, which has been acquired by Eros, as well as Vidhu Vinod Chopra, who is releasing the Raju Hirani-written Ferrari Ki Sawari , all think that films will do well this summer.

“People are not only going to watch IPL all of April and May. So, we are releasing Ferrari Ki Sawari during the school vacations, which we think is the ideal time for family audiences,” says Samir Rao, chief executive officer at Vinod Chopra Productions.

With cricket touching a low after the euphoric World Cup victory last year, Bollywood’s taking everything on the front foot.

Deepak Marda, joint managing director Cinepolis India said, “I believe the lacklustre performance of the Indian team and the lack of buzz around the IPL has given confidence to film producers to schedule their movie releases during the fifth IPL season.”

Cricket’s popularity is going southwards with every passing year and this evident from the fact that average ratings of the fourth IPL were the lowest among all the seasons.

TRPs of the matches averaged about 3.91 across six metros compared to 5.51 in IPL-3. In the past four seasons, Bollywood, realising that it couldn’t match up to the fire power of IPL, decided to join the cricketing tamasha, with some stars being owners of some teams, while many others endorsing the game’s biggest brand by revenues during the games, and at the aftermatch parties.

“The growing number of movies released every year, have led film producers to plan their releases in a manner that they do not clash with each other. This too has led film producers to choose April-May to release their movies,” says Ashish Saksena, chief operating officer of Big Cinemas.