Today is Friday – the beginning of a weekend and the day of new releases! But wait, there’s no new movie hitting the big screens this time around as the makers of both Raees and Kaabil chose to premiere their films earlier this week and broke the Friday norm. So what exactly is behind Bollywood’s obsession with Fridays and what difference will it make for these films to not be released on one? Let’s find the answers.
Not how it started
It was not a tradition in India to release movies on Friday under the British Raj. Even Neel Kamal, which marked the debut of both Raj Kapoor and Madhubala, first made its way to the screens on March 24 in 1947, a Monday.
But the country adopted the American tradition of Friday releases towards the foot of the 50s with the belief that people are work-free during weekends and can help movies earn good opening collections. Even in Mumbai, there reportedly were informal norms in small scale industries that made up for half-days on Friday. Epics like Mughal-E-Azam were among the first ones to have released on this day.
Other reasons and theories
As per the distribution fee structure for movie releases, Friday is also the most suitable day for single screen theatre owners to release new movies. For instance, you buy the rights for a film X for a week, and another producer decides to release his film Y on the Wednesday of the next week. So since you have bought the weekly rights for X, you will end up paying for two extra days due to Y.
Raees and Kaabil, being the Ys this week, would have had to compensate the theatre owners for the same through higher screening fees. This is feasible for big production banners but not for the others who have to release films on Fridays by default.
Other theories also claim the auspicious importance of Friday in the country’s culture, word of mouth and the payment of weekly wages on Friday as probable reasons for it being the day of choice by filmmakers. Believe it or not.
So, that wraps up all that you need to know about Bollywood’s romance with Fridays. If you have anything to add, let us know in your comments.