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Terror fallout: Film releases delayed, drab opening

Nov 28, 2008 10:49 PM IST India India

Mumbai: Terror strike has not just left Mumbaikars shocked and numb but has also send jitters across the film fraternity.

It was a Black Friday at theatres and multiplexes in Mumbai. People chose not to visit cinema halls owing to the fresh terror attack in the city.

Among the three films set to release on Friday, the first casualty was the small budget comedy The President Is Coming.

The team behind the film decided to postpone the film's release date at the last moment.

"We took a joint decision that it wasn't the best time to release this film in light of the tragic events that have happened. I think people wouldn't be in the mood to come to theatres. We were actually screening on the night before last and we had to stop the screening midway through because news of the terror strike started coming in.So we stalled the screening midway through as we wanted everyone to get home safe.We had no clear information as to what was exactly happening. So we must decided to stall it," said Kunaal Roy Kapur, the Director of The President is Coming.

The other two new releases UTV's Oye Lucky Lucky Oye and Onir's Sorry Bhai had to cancel their premieres scheduled for Thursday night, but producers decided to go ahead and release the film on Friday as per plan.

Unlike The President is Coming, both these films are moderately budgeted with plenty of money already spent on publicity. But the decision to stick to the release date has definitely hurt the opening collections for both the films in Mumbai.

"With the kind of unrest that has been prevailing over Mumbai, we haven't had any advance bookings. In fact with the kind of mood that people are in I don't believe people will come in for entertainment," said Rakesh Sharma, the General Manager of Cinemax in Sion, Mumbai.

"It's not the perfect Friday for any release, whether single or twin. We have had hardly people coming in since morning. We had to cancel show in the morning because of lack of audiences. And even now people are just trickling in," added Sharma.

Yet, there were a few who didn't want to fore go their regular dose of entertainment even as the threat of terror loomed large over the city.

"Life doesn't stop but the government needs to do something solid for this. It is a big attack on Mumbai," said an avid film buff.

"We are not feeling scared as we are situated very far away from where this incident has taken place. We see on television and we see that our police force is doing its job. So I do feel secure," said another film goer.

The team behind the two new releases will surely hope that the mood of the city changes over the weekend.