On July 8, the much awaited Hollywood action film, Fast & Furious 9, was announced for a theatrical release in India on August 5. It led to a lot of excitement in the trade and industry as the franchise has a huge following in the country. Also, the hope was that by July-end, the cinema halls would open up everywhere, especially in the key centres like Mumbai and Delhi. Sadly, it hasn’t happened yet, leaving not just the trade but even the moviegoers to wonder whether Fast & Furious 9 will be able to make it on August 5, as scheduled.
Bollywood Hungama has found out that unfortunately, the action entertainer has been pushed. A source told us, “Fast & Furious 9 released in most overseas markets on June 25 and it did great business. Till date, it has earned nearly $600 million worldwide. Universal Studios wants the film to release at a time when cinemas are open in the big cities as it has the potential to bring in audiences and also a lot of moolah. They had expected things to normalize by August 5. But since that doesn’t seem to be happening, a call was taken to push the film. They hope to bring it to cinemas in the second half of August.”
Meanwhile, Warner Bros has decided to release three of its films in cinemas. The source says, “Warner Bros team in India had decided to release Mortal Kombat, The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It and The Suicide Squad only when theatres are open in Delhi at least, if not Mumbai. But there’s no clarity from the Delhi government as to when they would give the go-ahead to the cinemas to restart. Hence, Warner has taken the tough but decisive call of releasing three of its films wherever cinemas are open. They have begun discussions with the major multiplex chains who have agreed with the plan.”
The source states that Mortal Kombat would be the first film to release, on July 30. This film saw a limited release in the South on April 23 when cinemas were shut in North and West India. Warner desires to release this film wherever it couldn’t make it the last time, but only in English in Hindi. This would be followed by The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It on August 6. The horror film has a huge fan base here and in fact, The Conjuring 2 did a business of nearly Rs. 62 crore in India. The trade hopes that the third part would also be able to get audiences to cinemas, although it has already been released in the West on June 4.
Finally, The Suicide Squad would release on August 13, that is, in Independence Day week. The earlier plan of Warner was to release this film on August 6, that is, on the same day that it releases in the rest of the world. The source says, “Warner Bros is confident of this film and are okay in postponing it by a week. By August 13, more theatres would have opened and thereby, the film would be able to do better.”
The promotions and announcement of Mortal Kombat’s July 30 are expected to begin tomorrow, that is, Sunday, July 25. A trade expert said, “How long could have Warner waited? There are many other films of Warner Bros and even of other studios that have already been released in the West since the situation there is close to normal. Even here, the cases are in control and here’s hoping the release and success of these films would put pressure on the governments of Maharashtra and Delhi to open up cinemas. Then, even Akshay Kumar’s Bellbottom can arrive in theatres soon.”