Buzz in industry circles is that all the Kannada films that have announced release dates in January and February will reschedule to later in the year
Ever since the Karnataka government announced weekend curfews for the next two weeks, along with other safety protocols, including only 50% occupancy in movie halls, in the wake of increasing Covid cases in the state, the buzz in the Kannada film industry has been about movies that have announced released dates pushing back on that.
Several big ticket Hindi, Tamil and Telugu films have already announced postponements, like, for instance, Jersey, Radhe Shyam, RRR, Prithviraj and Valimai, given that states across the country are either shutting movie halls or operating them at reduced capacity.
Back home in Karnataka, filmmakers do not fancy 50% occupancy, with many having held on to their movies throughout the pandemic until full houses were allowed in October 2021. Barring a few weeks when there were big releases in Hindi or Telugu, pretty much all of October, November and even December has seen a lot of major Kannada films hitting halls. But the latest development has come as a dampener, and sources say that more announcements about possible postponements can be expected in the days to come.
Kannada filmmakers had shunned the first two weeks of January to make way for RRR (on January 7) and the bevy of Tamil and Telugu releases for Sankranti the following week. January 21 onward, there were confirmed Kannada releases, like Garuda and Ek Love Ya, for starters, followed by Ombatthane Dikku (January 28), Love Mocktail 2 (February 11), Old Monk (February 11) and Vikrant Rona (February 24). The team of Garuda has already announced that they will not release it on January 21. Director Prem has also followed suit for his Ek Love Ya, because even if the government brings in relaxations in two weeks, it gives him and his team very little time to promote the film. Sources also suggest that relaxations are unlikely to kick in after two weeks and will depend entirely on how the pandemic pans out. If the current spike is any indication, this wave will last for a while. In which case, films like Love Mocktail 2, Old Monk and Vikrant Rona will also reschedule their release plans.
The chatter on social media is that this upheaval with release plans will even affect KGF: Chapter 2, which, as of now, is slated for an April 14 release. Well, as of now, all of this is speculation, but we will keep you posted as soon as we hear something definitive. Stay tuned!