Once a year, India is forced to choose between the two things it loves above all - cricket and movies. Season seven of the Indian Premier League begins on April 16, almost coinciding with Amitabh Bachchan's Bhoothnath Returns which releases a week earlier and 2 States, starring Alia Bhatt and Arjun Kapoor, which is out on April 18.
In the last six years, Bollywood's biggest players have mostly bypassed IPL season, releasing their films much before or after. Among those brave enough to risk a box office jostling with cricket fever were 2013's Zanjeer and 2008's Tashan, both of which were clean bowled. However, some other films - all starring new names - did hit a sixer: Ayushmann Khurrana's debut Vicky Donor (2012), 2012 sleeper hit Love Sex Aur Dhokha and last year's Aashiqui 2 had a field day during the IPL season because of less competition on screens.
This year, Alia Bhatt and Arjun Kapoor look to cash in with 2 States. Their secret weapon is co-producer Sajid Nadiadwala who released Housefull (2010) and Housefull 2 (2012) amid cricket frenzy to set the cash registers ringing.
Also, in the fray is Bhootnath Returns starring Amitabh Bachchan with a cameo by Shah Rukh Khan. The original Bhootnath released seven years ago, in the first IPL season, and did well.
Another big question which will be answered at theatres will be the one pitting Amitabh Bachchan against southern superstar Rajinikanth. Rajnikanth's much awaited Kochadaiiyaan is also hitting the screens on April 11 in multiple languages including Hindi. Will Big B and Rajinikanth cancel each other out at the box office?