It’s been a tradition for Bollywood to make its presence felt in the UAE a day before a films release on Friday in India. As Friday is a day of prayers in Islamic countries Thursday was the designated day for the release of Hindi films in the UAE. But, look like it won't be the case anymore!
Sources say that the Mumbai film industry is on the verge of promulgating a new release-policy whereby Hindi films will no longer open in the Gulf and Middle Eastern countries on Thursday. Kicking off the change, this week’s big release Rajkumar Hirani’s Sanju will not open in the Gulf region today (Thursday). A source close to the development explains, “At the moment the decision to not release Hindi films in the Gulf on Thursdays is not binding. But producers are seriously considering shutting down the tradition of releasing films in the Gulf , as it leads to rampant piracy even before a film is released worldwide.” Producer Pahlaj Nihalani who has served as the chairperson of the Central Board Of Film Certification says stopping the advance release of Hindi films in the UAE makes a lot of sense. “Most piracy and illegal streaming takes place from outside India. Very recently a man was caught in Dubai live-stream Rajinikanth’s Kaala. I think it would be a wise decision to stop the Thursday release of Hindi films in the UAE,Singapore and Malaysia.”
However trade analyst Girish Johar thinks it imprudent to shift the release in the Gulf from Thursday to Friday. “Thursday is like a Saturday for them in the UAE, so the business is generally higher on Thursday than on other days. All BIG films have performed extremely well in the past even when released on Thursday. So by opting for a Friday release we consciously lose some percentage of the business. Making a conscious decision for a Friday release has to be a long and well-planned one , as the audiences too have to be introduced and accustomed to change their pattern of movie consumption so the loss if any is minimal.”
What are your thoughts on this possible change?