The last two days, there have been ample speculations that SS Rajamouli’s RRR fronted by Jr. NTR and Ram Charan will be delayed due to the on-going scare of Omicron. However, we were among the first to inform our readers that the makers are sticking to the release date of January 7. SS Rajamouli echoed the same at a pre-release event of RRR in Kerala. According to a source, the only scenario in which RRR would be delayed is if two of the three key markets -Hyderabad, Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra are closed.
“The film is sticking to the date of January 7. If need be, they will revisit the scenario next week and that too only if two of three major markets shut down. Given how things stand at present, Hyderabad and Tamil Nadu will definitely be operational as the cases and Covid scenario is very much under control,” revealed a trade source. According to the same source, the team of RRR is confident that the film will bring in the audience all across the world where-ever the cinema halls are operational.
“They are willing to forgo some revenues in the Hindi belts. The entire Telugu film industry came together to support RRR by rescheduling the respective releases from Sankranthi weekend and now the team feels it would be a little unethical on their part to delay the release due to Covid-scare in Hindi belts. The amounts will be renegotiated based on the earning potential of every market,” explained the source. For those unaware, on request of SS Rajamouli, F3, Sarkaru Vaari Paata and Bheemla Nayak were pushed from the announced release date in the month of January to make way for RRR. That aside, the local exhibition community in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana have decided to offer unconditional support to producers of RRR.
“The entire exhibition community in APTS have agreed to allot 100% showcasing to RRR on the day of its release. This means, each and every show on each and every screen in APTS will screen RRR on January 7. This is something happening voluntarily for the first time in the history of Indian cinema,” the source informed, adding further that the trade of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala too have come forward to lend their support. According to sources, the team of RRR is overwhelmed by the support of the cinema community in the Southern community and are aware of the fact that there is enough potential in Hindi belts outside of Delhi and maybe even Maharashtra to get to respectable figures in Hindi too. “They are hoping that Maharashtra will be operational and Delhi too eases out on the restrictions by January 7. But well, as things stand today, if Hyderabad and Tamil Nadu continue to function in a normal way, RRR will hit the film as scheduled on January 7.”
The advances of RRR have opened in the international markets and many properties have already recorded houseful shows. According to industry trackers, tickets worth Rs 20 crore have already been sold in advance in the US, and with 8 days still remaining for the film premiere. “It speaks volumes of the buzz around the film in international belts too. Right now, the issue is with Hindi belts, with the rest of the country and international territories supporting. It’s a tough call, but that’s how it is. If they don’t release it now, there is a possibility for the film to face stiff competition going ahead all across the territories,” the source concluded.
If these reasons are not enough, another major factor of RRR lies in the fact that it’s among the costliest Indian films till date mounted on a budget of Rs 450 crore. A further delay would increase the budget by a considerable extent. They have already invested Rs 50 crore plus in marketing the film. A delay would mean this entire expense going haywire, in addition to the need of spending more around the release date. The loss of revenue in terms of distribution share in Hindi belts might certainly be in the same range of the overall marketing spends. So, it’s a risk and they are poised to lose out on a chunk of revenue in one way or the other. It’s better to cash on the hype now and fight the Covid virus. But well, as things stand today, it’s going to be fight against British in real and with OmicRRRon in real, and it remains to be seen who blinks first. There is a possibility of delay, but it all depends on what happens in the coming few days.