Salman Khan started a Zoom call with some journalists with the nonchalant phrase, "Thank God for Zoom calls, nahin toh hum sabko corona ho jata (or we would all also get infected by corona)". The discussion mostly revolved around India's current crisis and the release of his upcoming film Radhe: Your Most Wanted Bhai.
Due to the second COVID wave, theatres had to shut down and as a consequence, many filmmakers decided to postpone film releases. However, Radhe makers decided to opt for a simultaneous release in theatres and OTT in a pay per view model. The movie will release on any theatres that are functioning, DTH services, and Zee5's service ZeePlex.
"I couldn’t have kept my Eid commitment with fans without the support of ZEE. It was important to release the film at a time like this because people are suffering due to the pandemic," Salman said. The actor who is also a producer on the film commented that they will lose money due to this release model, but it'll be better for the audience since they'll be able to watch it at a reduced price.
"Incomes have reduced for many, so now, instead of spending a lot of money on tickets at the cinemas, people can watch it at a much cheaper rate at home. I want to provide some entertainment to people at a grim time like this,” he said.
After the lockdown in 2020, the film industry suffered losses due to the restrictions on shooting and theatres. However, in early 2021, it seemed like things were gradually getting better but the second wave foiled those plans. Many exhibitors were relying on big releases in 2021 to tackle the losses of 2020.
Salman apologised to cinema owners and said, "I apologise to cinema owners who were hoping to earn profits with the release of this film. We waited as long as we could, hoping that this pandemic would end and we would be able to release in theatres all over the country. But that did not happen. We don’t know when things will go back to normal."
The Radhe actor also warned his fans to put their safety first when trying to watch the film. "Some people have booked auditoriums and are planning to screen my film, which I won’t encourage because I don’t want people to say ‘Salman Khan ki picture dekhne gaye aur corona phail gaya (We watched Salman's film and got infected)," he added.
Clearly, with the release model that the film has opted for, the box office collections will be close to zero. Talking about box office earnings being the mark for success, he added, "The box office collection of Radhe will be zero, this will be the lowest ever for a Salman Khan film. Let people be happy or sad with that."
Radhe: Your Most Wanted Bhai is directed by Prabhu Deva and stars Salman Khan, Disha Patani, Randeep Hooda, and Jackie Shroff. It is scheduled to release on 13 May.
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