Amid unconfirmed reports that Salman Khan has sold the satellite, theatrical, digital and music rights of his upcoming ‘Radhe: Your Most Wanted Bhai’ for a whopping sum of Rs2.30 billion to Zee Studios, cinema hall owners associations have written to the superstar requesting him to release the film only in theatres on Eid 2021.
Shared by the exhibitors on Saturday, the letter urged Khan to help the cinema sector during its time of struggle amid the ongoing Covid pandemic.
The letter is signed by exhibitors associations from different parts of the country including Uttarakhand, Assam, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan Bihar, Telangana, Delhi, Dehradun and Hyderabad.
Exhibitors believe that the film will be a mass entertainer like most of Khan’s Eid releases. The film can be expected to pull the audience into theatres, especially during a festival like Eid, and aid the struggling exhibition industry that has suffered huge losses during the ongoing pandemic.
The letter reads: “Dear Mr Salman Khan, Hope this letter finds you well. As you are aware, 2020 has been a rough year for millions of people across the country and the ones associated with India’s film exhibition sector haven’t been an exception. Over the last 10 months, hundreds of single screen/independent cinemas have pulled down their shutters permanently and this has resulted in the loss of livelihood for lakhs of people who were employed by them directly and indirectly.”
Lamenting how difficult it has become to operate a cinema these days, the letter further adds: “For over a decade now, your films have played an important role in bringing audiences to single screen cinemas, which are otherwise starved for content that caters to the sensibilities of people who patronise them.
“Your film Radhe: Your Most Wanted Bhai is among the few that are capable of resurrecting the fortunes of independent/single screen cinemas across the country. A film like that, if released widely, can give not just financial support and relief but also a ray of hope to owners and employees of theatres in the context of their future.”
In an appeal, the letter requests Khan “to plan the film’s release at every cinema in the country on Eid 2021 as there cannot be a better Eidi than that for us film exhibitors and more importantly for millions of your fans whom we cannot wait to welcome back at the theatres.”
Khan, who turned 55 on December 27, kept his celebrations low key this year on account of the coronavirus pandemic.
While cutting his cake at his Panvel farmhouse, with the media parked outside his gate, the ‘Dabangg’ actor revealed that his upcoming film ‘Radhe: Your Most Wanted Bhai’ could release on Eid Al Fitr 2021, but it would only be determined following the status of the pandemic and the safety of the audience.
In the letter, the group also appeals that safety has been taken into account to reopen cinemas.
“Till date not even a single case of people contracting Covid-19 has been traced back to a cinema hall anywhere in the world and we are confident of keeping your fans safe by following comprehensive protocols and guidelines that have been issued by the concerned authorities,” the letter adds.
Meanwhile, his production house, Salman Khan Films, was backing the Pankaj Tripathi project, ‘Kaagaz’, an upcoming Indian biographical drama film written and directed by Satish Kaushik, which drops on January 7 on Zee5.
Khan also stars in ‘Antim: The Final Truth’ with his brother-in-law Aayush Sharma.
At time of writing this, Khan has yet to respond to the letter.