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New Delhi: Akshay Kumar’s spy thriller Bellbottom will release in both 2D and 3D formats on 19 August, the makers have said, in what may be a bid to draw audiences to theatres after a year and a half.

The film directed by Ranjit M Tewari, also stars Vaani Kapoor, Lara Dutta, and Huma Qureshi. Shot last September, it was originally supposed to release on 27 July but had to wait for reopening of theatres in key states like Delhi and Maharashtra after the second covid wave started ebbing.

As of last Friday, 4,000 cinema halls in states like Delhi, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Punjab reopened with Hollywood flick Mortal Kombat while five small Telugu films—Ishq, Thimmarusu, Narasimhapuram, Parigettu Prigettu and Trayam have been released in their native states. The Maharashtra government too has granted reopening permits in only certain districts Mumbai and Thane being some of them.

To be sure, cinema owners across the country have been waiting for Maharashtra to come on board for Bollywood to be able to bounce back to business. They said audiences are keen to come back to theatres for new content and they have been getting multiple enquiries for titles like Fast & Furious 9 and KGF: Chapter 2.

Hollywood is expected to drive business for movie theatres in the initial weeks post reopening. Warner Bros, producers of Mortal Kombat, have already slated other titles for the coming weeks to keep the momentum going—their action adventure The Suicide Squad will arrive on 5 August, the first Hollywood film since the pandemic to release in Indian theatres the same day as its international release.

Horror flick The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It has been scheduled for the 13th, action flick Fast & Furious 9 for the 19th, and animation comedy The Boss Baby: Family Business for 10 September. Other Hollywood titles including Promising Young Woman (6 August), Old (13 August), The Croods: A New Age (27 August), Nobody (27 August) and The Forever Purge (17 September) have also locked dates. As far as local releases go, Punjabi film Puaada has confirmed a release on 12 August.


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