large section of multiplexes and single screen theatres Thursday
decided to indefinitely “postpone” the release of Shah Rukh Khan’s
much-awaited “My Name Is Khan” in one of the biggest commercial
entertainment territories - Mumbai and Maharashtra.
Attempting to save face of the government, Chief Minister Ashok
Chavan Thursday evening reiterated that full security would be
provided to all cinemas all over the state that are slated to screen
“We are not aware of the decision taken by the exhibitors. But we
are ready to provide full security to the cinemas and the patrons,”
Chavan told mediapersons Thursday evening.
However, most cinema owners appeared unconvinced by the government’s
assurances and have decided to postpone the release of “MNIK”.
“As per current indications, the movie will not be released in
Mumbai territory, considered very significant in terms of box-office
revenue for any movie. However, the situation is fluid and may
crystallize only later tonight (Thursday),” Theatres Owners’
Association president Rajesh Thadani told IANS late Thursday
Chavan urged cinema owners to display courage by exhibiting the
movie and not get cowed down by the threats of unruly elements
before taking any decision on postponing the film’s screening.
Mumbai Police Commissioner D. Shivanandhan also said that adequate
security has already been provided to all cinemas planning to screen
Besides Thadani, other theatre owners said their decision was
prompted mainly by the luke-warm response at the box-office in view
of threat perceptions among the general public.
“The bookings have been much lower than anticipated for any SRK
movie. So we decided to postpone the release,” said the owner of a
theatre in Andheri.
Attempting to hammer out a solution to the crisis, representatives
of theatre owners and multiplexes were closeted with the movie’s
producer Karan Johar at his Dharma Productions office in the western
suburbs till late Thursday evening, said industry expert Vinod
Mirani, editor of Box Office, a trade magazine.
Industry sources say delaying the release could lead to pirated
prints flooding India, seriously damaging the box-office prospects
of the movie.
Meanwhile, television channels quoted Johar as claiming that these
(reports of stalling the release) were all rumours and the movie
would be released as scheduled Friday.
Thursday, Shiv Sainiks protested outside the Ashish Cinema in
Chembur, Apsara in Mumbai Central, and other cinema halls in Sangli,
Ratnagiri and Aurangabad against the SRK movie.