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Bollywood in dire straits: Exams, IPL play havoc

By: By Raymond Ronamai
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Spring has set in but Bollywood is in for bad times. March is usually a dry month for the film industry and this year is no exception. Business dips during this season due to board exams. Adding more salt to the wounds, the much-awaited Indian Premiere League (IPL3) is starting this Friday.

All the big films including My Name is Khan have hit the theatres and no big-budget film is releasing this month. Films like Atithi Tum Kab Jaoge?, Road, Movie, Hello Zindagi, Thanks Maa and Rokkk were released last week but they all have gone down the drains without much notice. About half a dozen small films are releasing this Friday too but exams and the IPL are likely to eat into their revenues.

Sources from multiplexes admitted that March is a lean month. Amit Awasth of Spice Cinemas said that they are hoping the content of the films and good word of mouth would pull in crowds. He added that they are showing IPL matches at normal cinema rates to make up the low income.

Tusshar Dhingra of Big Cinemas also said that they couldn"t do much but would try to do whatever they could to get that additional footfall through big Hollywood films and small Hindi films. He added that they are screening IPL matches in cinemas.

Small films like Hide & Seek, Na Ghar Ke Na Ghaat Ke, Right Yaa Wrong, Love Sex Aur Dhokha, Shaapit, Idiot Box, Lahore, Well Done Abba, Do Dilon Ke Khel Mein, Swaha, Trump Card, Hum Tum Aur Ghost and Crime Partnerare are lined up for release this month. But the big question is – will they manage to beat the IPL and exams?

However, April will witness the release of some big films like Shahid Kapoor starrer Paathshaala, Vivek Oberoi's Prince and Phoonk 2. Films like Banda Yeh Bindaas Hai, Tum Milo Toh Sahi, Apartment, Mirch, Run Bhola Run and It's A Wonderful After Life are also scheduled for release this month.

In the mean time, the theatre owners are looking forward to cash in on the IPL this season by screening the matches at normal cinema rates. But will the people leave the comfort of watching the IPL matches at home and choose theatres? This is another big question!

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