In the world of Bollywood, the importance of release dates cannot be overstated. Filmmakers often wait for festive occasions such as Diwali, Eid or Christmas to release their movies in the hopes of raking in the big bucks at the box office. However, the recent success of Pathaan has challenged this trend, proving that a film can be a blockbuster even without a holiday release.
Pathaan, which stars Shah Rukh Khan in the lead role, was released on Wednesday in January and has since gone on to become a massive success at the box office. The film has grossed 539.64 cr making it one of the highest-grossing Bollywood films of all time. This has raised questions about the industry’s obsession with festival release dates and whether they are truly necessary for a film’s success.
To put this into perspective, let’s take a look at some of the past films released on holidays: Raksha Bandhan, Thank God, Laal Singh Chaddha, and Ram Setu. All failed to make a significant impact despite being released on festive occasions.
Ram Setu, Thank God
Release Date: Diwali 2022
Raksha Bandhan, Laal Singh Chaddha
Release date: Raksha Bandhan festival 2022
Release date: Christmas Holiday, 2022
Upcoming holiday movies
Gadar Sequel, Animal, The Vaccine War, Tariq
Release Date: Coinciding Independence Day
Singham Again, Salman Khan – Sooraj Barjatya Film, Bhool Bhullaiya 3
Release Date: Diwali 2024
Tiger 3, 100%
Release Date: Diwali 2023
Now let’s compare these holiday releases to some of the recent non-holiday hits. Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2, which is a sequel to the 2007 horror-comedy Bhool Bhulaiyaa, released on May 22 Brahmastra, directed by Ayan Mukerji, released on September 9 starring Ranbir Kapoor, Alia Bhatt, Mouni Roy, Shah Rukh Khan, Amitabh Bachchan. Both were non-holiday releases and yet were blockbusters at the box-office.
Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2
Release Date: May 20 (Non-Holiday)
Release date: September 9
Release date: November 18
Release Date: January 25
This raises the question – are holiday releases truly necessary for a film’s success? While it’s true that festivals can provide a boost in terms of footfall and ticket sales, Pathaan’s success has shown that a well-made film with a strong marketing campaign can do well regardless of the release date. Ultimately, the success of a film comes down to its content and how well it connects with the audience.
As the industry continues to navigate the challenges of the pandemic and the evolving preferences of moviegoers, it will be interesting to see if filmmakers start to move away from the festival release trend and focus more on creating quality content. Only time will tell if Pathaan’s success marks a turning point for the industry as it still runs in theatres across the country.