Ahead of Sooryavanshi's release, director Rohit Shetty had told himself he would be content if the film made about Rs 130 crore, considering it was coming on the heels of a long theatre shutdown. Almost a month since, Akshay Kumar's cop caper has crossed the Rs 190-crore mark in India. 'Rs 130 crore would have been an achievement as Maharashtra and some other centres were operating at 50 per cent theatrical capacity. I was always confident about the movie, but my only concern was whether the audience would come to the theatres [amid the pandemic]. I am happy they came in large numbers,' he exclaims. The director is equally grateful to the film fraternity for lending support to the actioner.
During the film's 19-month wait to the big screen, Shetty had lucrative offers from OTT players for a digital premiere. 'I didn't feel tempted to take up their offer. Sooryavanshi is a big-screen experience. There are 40,000 cine employees in India, and there was speculation about cinemas not reopening [soon]. Somebody had to take that first step and release their movie in theatres. I couldn't be selfish.'
Elated as he is about Sooryavanshi's success, Shetty has now moved on to Cirkus with Ranveer Singh. The unit will head to Ooty next week for the final schedule. Was it tough to shoot a movie during the pandemic? 'I can't sit around doing nothing. We wrote the script during the first lockdown. During the shoot, we followed many safety protocols. Luckily, not a single case was reported on the set.'