As the country celebrates the 67 th year of independence, Akshay Kumar starrer Once Upon a Time in Mumbai Dobara (OUATIMD) hits the screens. The movie, which is a sequel to Once Upon a Time in Mumbai will be releasing across 1,200 to 1,400 screens today. The restricted release is because Disney UTV Studios and Red Chilies Enertaiment's Chennai Express is currently occupying majority of the screens.
From 16 August, the movie will run across 2,500 to 2,700 screens according to industry sources. This is nearly a 1,000 screens less that Chennai Express that released across 3800 screens. Single screens will have a division of shows with 50-50 to both movies wherever Chennai Express is doing well and it will continue in second week. When contacted, officials at Balaji Motion Pictures refused to comment.
An independent distributor informs, “Negotiations are still going on regarding the number of screens but it will suffice to say that OUATIMD may not get the opening it expected to get on a national holiday like 15 August singularly because of the lack of screens”
A lot will depend on the word of mouth the film generates. Independent distributor and trade analyst Suniel Wadhwa says, “Chennai express was not affected by any south films in south India so it got huge advantage in terms of number of screens release. This benefit may not be enjoyed by OUTIMD. Anticipation of the film among audience is that it is not a definite or must watch film since appeal is limited as the genre doesn't goes with youth audience. It can work on strong word of mouth as music has become popular so it will enjoy a decent opening."
According to industry sources, the cost of production of the movie is nearly Rs 90 crore which includes Rs 70 crores in production and nearly Rs 20 crore in print and advertising.
The film did have an extensive marketing campaign in the run up to its release. Capitalising on the heavy footfalls enjoyed by Chennai Express, the promoters of the film arranged for special Qawali performances at cinema halls to market OUATIMD.
The film also tied up with PVR cinemas for a special promo depicting cinema etiquettes. The promo played across all the PVR & Cinemax properties during each and every show of every film, right from 29 th May to the release of the film. It captured the character of Shoaib (played by Akshay Kumar) while delivering the core communication of the film to the audiences.
The film stars Imran Khan and Sonakshi Sinha along with Akshay Kumar.