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Director allays fear that Kangana's Simran is struggling to get enough screens

Even as Hansal Mehta tweeted that all is well, a trade expert said that with Anil Thadani as distributor, there is no chance of Simran getting unfair treatment.

Mayur Lookhar

Over the past year, actress Kangana Ranaut has dared to take on several film industry bigwigs. While she has been lauded for her courage and forthrightness by some, others have feared her actions could hurt her forthcoming films.

The fear resurfaced this morning when cinegoers logging on to popular ticket-booking sites could not find too many shows of Simran. However, director Hansal Mehta tweeted that all is well, while trade insiders ruled out foul play.

Mehta allayed fears with this tweet.

Film exhibitor Akshay Rathi, too, ruled out any foul play. “Simran is distributed by Anil Thadani, who has never had any problem getting screens. Mr Thadani has the kind of clout, relationship and respect of exhibitors that even for a niche film if he asks for 3,000 screens he will get them. It may be the call of the producers not to have a wide release. We are not talking about a Raees or Baahubali here,” he said.

Another top, independent distributor, who did not want to be identified, rubbished talk of sabotage. "Simran is produced by T-Series and distributed by Thadani, who shares great rapport with Dharma Productions," he said. "If [jeopardizing Simran] was to be done, Karan Johar would have simply requested Thadani not to take up the film's distribution.”

So, how many screens would Simran be targeting? “It should be somewhere in the region of 900," Rathi offered. "That should be the right release size. The film has been shot in the US. Its landing cost, including P&A, should be around Rs30 crore.”

Landing cost is the amount for which a film is sold to distributors while P&A is the prints and advertising cost.

Would 900 screens suffice for the film to recover its cost and make money? “Simran is not a film that will open like a hurricane," Rathi said. "It is likely to grow by word of mouth. So I guess it will only make sense to have a compact release. One can always add screens if the film does well."

Simran is being released tomorrow, 15 September.