Uncertainty over the release of controversial film Padmaavat in Rajasthan looms large as theatre owners are still clueless whether distributors will purchase the rights despite the Supreme Court's ruling against the ban on Sanjay Leela Bhansali's period drama.
The audiences have already started enquiring about the release of the film in cinema halls but there is no advance booking or confirmation whether or not the movie will be screened in the state.
"I am not going to purchase the rights of the film as I am going out of the country on a family holiday on January 24," a leading film distributor Raj Bansal told PTI.
The distribution process for a film usually begins a month before the release and advance booking of tickets starts four to five days prior to the release date.
"If the distributors are not ready to purchase the rights, the film producer approaches the exhibitors (cinema halls) for screening the film, but confusion is prevailing in case of 'Padmaavat'.
"None of the distributors have purchased the rights so far. We have no answer for our audiences," Govind Khandelwal, manager of Entertainment Paradise said.
Marketing manager of Inox cinemas-Jaipur Sanjeev Sharma said he can not make any comments at the moment.
"Once it is clear that distributors have purchased the rights, only then we can open bookings," he said.
The manager of Raj Mandir cinema, Ashok Tanwar, also concurred with other theatre owners and said he is still not sure if the film will be released in the state.
"We are not expecting the film to release and this is what we are telling those who are making queries about it," he said.
There are close to 280 screens in Rajasthan. PTI