Polling for the 16th Lok Sabha elections wont affect the movie trade, asserted exhibitors and cinema hall owners in fact, it has the potential to boost business. Staggered polling for the parliamentary election between 7 April and 12 May, with counting for all 543 constituencies on 16 May, is unlikely to affect ticket sales and wont shift the scheduled releases of films in various languages, said Ashish Saksena , chief operating officer at BIG Cinemas.Traditionally, elections havent made a dent on show business, and although some cinemas might stay shut for a few hours, once polling is done, the evening shows tend to pick up, Saksena said.
We have observed that cinema occupancy is good on polling days, and the election might actually benefit business, added Devang Sampat, chief strategy officer at the Cinepolis India chain.April and May are traditionally strong months for family themed movies and modestly budgeted productions because of school and college vacations. However, the release calendar has been tweaked in recent years to reflect the popularity of the Indian Premier League (IPL), which is usually held during these months. The entertainment-themed cricket tournament posed a serious challenge to ticket sales in its early years, with producers and distributors preferring to wait till June to push their titles. Although the IPL threat seems to have toned down, the polling period doesnt have a single A lister Bollywood release. The titles include the Hindi version of the Tamil animated film Kochadaiiyaan featuring Rajinikanth (11 April), the movie adaptation of Chetan Bhagats novel 2 States (18 April) and Yash Raj Films Daawat E Ishq (9 May).
Hollywood studios in India, in keeping with US release calendars, will make the most of the slack domestic competition, rolling out the sequel to the animated comedy Rio (11 April), The Amazing Spider man 2 (2 May) and the latest version of Godzilla (16 May).Polling could influence movie-going in politically sensitive constituencies with high stakes and candidates going mano a mano, pointed out Nagpur based Akshaye Rathi, whose firms operate and programme for several single screen cinemas in Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. The election does matter a great deal in cities like Nagpur and Raipur, where the impact is more deeply felt, said Rathi. This year promises to be a dynamic election, so producers seem to have preferred to release their films during a period when they know they are safe.The pace of heavyweight productions picks up after 6 June, by which time a new government is likely to have been sworn in. The formation of a new cabinet will be complemented by the action thriller Action Jackson (June 6), the comedy Humshakals (June 20) and the fourth edition of Transformers (June 27).