Bollywood is gearing up for a mega clash at the box office with Sanjay Leela Bhasali’s much debated ‘Padmaavat’ and Akshay Kumar ‘PadMan’ releasing during the Republic Day week. Interestingly, the makers of ‘Padmaavat’ have upped the ante in the competition, with the Deepika Padukone, Shahid Kapor and Ranveer Singh-starrer going in for paid reviews and releasing on the night of January 24. The earlier release date of ‘Padmaavat’ was January 25, but now the film will release on January 24. Confirming the development, Manoj Desai, owner of G7 multiplex in Mumbai, says, “While ‘PadMan’ releases on January 25, ‘Padmaavat’ will release the night before (on January 24). The distributors of ‘Padmaavat’ are likely to reimburse the film that is scheduled for the 9.30 pm show that day and screen the magnum opus instead. There will be only one paid preview. This will happen not just in my theatres but across India.” Trade is of the view that the paid-reviews move may give rise to public opinion and discussions on social media about ‘Padmaavat’.
If there is positive word of mouth publicity of ‘Padmaavat’ on Wednesday, January 24, the day on which the film is releasing, the Sanjay Leela Bhansali flick may garner more footfalls on Thursday. This will give the film an edge at the box office over Akshay Kumar’s ‘PadMan’. ‘Padmaavat’, which received a U/A certificate from the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) aka Censor Board, has been in the eye of the storm ever since Bhansali began the film’s shooting. From the sets being vandalised to the getting slapped, and even leading lady Deepika receiving a death threat, ‘Padmaavat’ has garnered a lot of negative publicity. ‘Padmaavat’ has finally ended up being been banned in four states – Rajasthan, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Haryana.