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Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 21 October 2018

UAE audiences to lose traditional Bollywood preview privileges?

Dhadak is the second film in a month to skip the usual Thursday release slot for Friday debut

Ishaan Khatter and Janhvi Kapoor star in Dhadak.
Ishaan Khatter and Janhvi Kapoor star in Dhadak.

In a developing Bollywood trend, it looks like UAE audiences could be set to lose the traditional opportunity to watch flims 24 hours before their Indian counterparts.

Historically, Bollywood, like Hollywood and other international movies, have opened in the UAE and other Middle East markets on a Thursday on account of the region’s Friday/Saturday weekend.

In most international markets, new movies open on a Friday due to the Saturday/Sunday weekend.

The upcoming Dhadak, however, a romantic drama directed by Shashank Khaitan and starring Ishaan Khatter and Janhvi Kapoor, is the latest movie to eschew a Thursday release in the region and release on a Friday, in this case Friday July 20, in tandem with the film’s domestic Indian release as well as releases in the UK, US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, and Pakistan.

The film is the second Bollywood film in under a month to eschew the traditional early release in the Middle East. In the last week of June, Rajkumar Hirani’s Sanju also opted for a Friday release in the UAE, along with an Indian release on the same day.

Vibha Chopra, head of marketing, distribution and acquisitions for Zee Studios, which produced Dhadak, said in a statement: “For the release of Dhadak, the anticipation of watching Ishaan and Janhvi together is at an all-time high. Hence, we decided to offer an immersive experience of this epic love story to viewers worldwide on the same day.”

Two films in isolation doesn’t in itself constitute a trend, but Indian trade Analyst Taran Adarsh certainly things it could be the start of one. The analyst tweeted of the latest Friday release” “Do we see a new trend being set as far as UAE-GCC markets are concerned?”

We’ll be watching with interest.

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