New Delhi: Things finally seem to be looking up for Sanjay Leela Bhansali. After the Supreme Court revoked the ban various states had imposed on the theatrical release of his controversial period saga Padmaavat, he has just been granted another reason to rejoice. Akshay Kumar-starrer Padman that was to clash with the Rs150 crore Padmaavat for the Republic Day weekend has now been postponed to 9 February after the trade and film fraternity continually expressed disadvantages of the clash for both movies.
Kumar has been quoted by various news reports as saying that it was difficult to say no to Bhansali after the kind of struggle his film has gone through.
Earlier, trade experts pointed out that the clash would have resulted in a loss of screens for both films. While Padman had already locked single screens for itself, multiplexes were likely to divide their screens on a 60:40 ratio in favour of Padmaavat. While Bhansali’s film could make Rs35-40 crore on its opening day as a solo release, Padman could easily earn Rs25 crore. The figures would have come down to Rs25 crore and Rs20 crore respectively due to the clash, they said.
The Deepika Padukone, Ranveer Singh and Shahid Kapoor-starrer has been caught in the eye of the storm since the announcement of the project. While sets were vandalized as early as January 2017, the Rajput Karni Sena threatened violence even after the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) granted the movie a U/A certificate. The group accuses Bhansali’s film of distorting historical facts and hurting the sentiments of the community. In November, Viacom18 Motion Pictures, co-producers of the film had voluntarily deferred its December release as protests on its historical accuracy continued across the country.
Directed by R. Balki, Padman is a biographical take on the life of Arunachalam Muruganantham, a Tamil Nadu-based social activist who revolutionized the concept of menstrual hygiene in rural India by creating a low-cost sanitary napkin machine. It features Sonam Kapoor and Radhika Apte in lead roles, apart from Kumar.
The loss of screen count would have also impacted it greatly given that trade experts estimate its production cost to be substantially high and that it is the first Bollywood acquisition for Sony Pictures Entertainment that is looking at Hindi film production aggressively now.