Fans were surprised on June 15 when Akshay Kumar stated that Bellbottom would be released in theatres on July 27. The Covid-19 cases were progressively decreasing at the time, and Maharashtra had announced a level-based unlock plan. As a result, everyone expected movie theatres to open practically everywhere in India, especially in important cities like Mumbai, Maharashtra, and Delhi.
Unfortunately, word of the fatal Delta Plus variety causing havoc arrived a few days later. This new variation is considered to be more transmissible and might trigger the third wave at any time. As a result, the Maharashtra government dropped Levels 1 and 2 from its unlocking scheme and replaced them with Level 3. Under Level 1, cinema halls were only allowed to open in cities and districts.
A source informs Bollywood Hungama, “Uddhav Thackeray will sit with his task force and other officials to decide the next course of action. The positivity rate is below 2% in Mumbai for most days in the last 2 weeks. Hence, some relaxation is expected from July 15. But whether he will allow cinemas to open remains to be seen. A city like Delhi is having less than 100 cases a day for more than 10 days and there, the government might allow theatres to open. But no one knows exactly what the state government in Maharashtra would finalize with regards to cinema halls.”
“Maharashtra, especially its centres like Mumbai Metropolitan Region and Pune are crucial as it contributes a chunk of revenue. Releasing Bellbottom without Maharashtra is out of the question. Even if theatres are given the permission to restart on July 15 in Maharashtra, it’ll be difficult for the team of the movie to have just a 12-day promotion window. It’s too short for a big film like Bellbottom. Hence it makes sense to push the film by a few weeks,” the source added.
“The makers are probably looking at releasing the film on August 13, in the Independence Day weekend. It’ll also benefit the makers as there are minor holidays on the weekdays (Parsi New Year on Monday, August 16 and Muharram on Thursday, August 19). There have also been talks that it’ll release a week later, on August 20, 2 days before the festival of Raksha Bandhan. A clearer picture should emerge in a few days from now,” a trade expert said.
Bellbottom also stars Vaani Kapoor, Huma Qureshi, Lara Dutta, and Adil Hussain in addition to Akshay Kumar. It was one of the first Bollywood films to be shot during the Coronavirus pandemic, directed by Ranjit M Tewari.