Industry experts believe if Sanjay Leela Bhansali's magnum opus "Padmavati" had released today, as per the schedule, the film would have performed really well on the box office ending the lull phase of Bollywood.
An adaptation of Malik Muhammad Jayasi's epic "Padmavat", Bhansali's period drama film got caught in controversy as soon as the director started shooting the film early this year.
There were allegations from Rajput groups that the film depicts factual inaccuracies, portraying the Rajput queen Padmavati in a bad light.
Last month, the makers deferred the release date of "Padmavati". They will announce the new release date when they get certification from the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC).
"This year only a few films like -- 'Bahubali: The Conclusion', few Akshay Kumar starrer films, Varun Dhawan's 'Judwaa 2', 'Golmaal Again' -- have done well, otherwise it has been a disappointing year box office wise. The entire fraternity and audience were looking forward to 'Padmavati' and 'Tiger Zinda Hai' to salvage the situation.
"'Padmavati' had a clear run of three weeks (till 'Tiger Zinda Hai' release) and it was expected that the film will have a great run at the box office. It would have done Rs 30- 40 crore on day one had it released today," says exhibitor Akshay Rathi.
Film distributor Rajesh Thadani too shares a similar opinion about the box office fate of the controversy hit film.
"If there was no problem at all, the film industry would have benefited as the was curiosity around the movie was very high. Now that the movie is postponed so there is a loss to the film industry, the makers and everyone else is affected now.
"After 'Golmaal Again', 'Padmavati' would have ended the lull phase of Bollywood," Thadani says.
The team of "Padmavati" are also confident about the film's commercial success "If the film would've released (today) it would have been super hit. Whenever it comes out, it'll be super hit. Bhansali is pride of India... I have faith in the film. Whenever it's out, the world will love it.
"We have to wait now for it to release, but that's okay. A Sanjay Leela Bhansali film has always seen the light of the day. This will too, no doubt," lyricist of "Padmavati", A M Turaz told PTI.
Ajit Andhare, Chief Operating Officer, Viacom18 Motion Pictures, says, "December 1 was the original date we had announced. As we don't have a Censor certificate so we can't come on that date. We have to wait now.