The historical film Bell Bottom, starring Akshay Kumar, was the country’s first large cinema release, significantly bolstering the country’s struggling film industry.
However, the espionage thriller has been banned in some Gulf countries, including Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Kuwait.
The film boards appear to have concerns about certain facts depicted in the film.
According to sources, the film depiction of the true 1984 hijacking incident has left these countries’ censor boards displeased.
According to a source, “As per the actual incident, UAE Defense Minister, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, had personally handled the situation and it was the UAE authorities who had nabbed the hijackers.”
Onscreen, though, Kumar was the rescuer.
The unidentified source went on to say, “In Bell Bottom, Indian officials, including Kumar’s role, are portrayed as the episode’s heroes. In addition, they keep the UAE Defense Minister in the dark about their operations.”
“As a result, there’s a good chance that the Censor Board in the Middle Eastern countries objected to it.”
However, Bell Bottom was released in the United Arab Emirates.
Aside from the UAE, the Ranjit M Tewari-directed film was shown on over 225 overseas screens
The United Kingdom topped the list with 53 screens, followed by 25 in Canada, 20 in New Zealand, and 12 in South Africa.
The film was also shown in Singapore, Tanzania, Kenya, and other countries.
But how successful has it been in attracting an audience?
Despite unfavourable circumstances, ‘Bell Bottom’ is doing well financially
The film received a mediocre welcome in India after its release on a weekday.
However, it picked up steam during the weekend, generating Rs. 4.3 crore on Sunday, bringing its four-day total to Rs. 12.65 crore.
As a result, it outperformed Roohi’s opening weekend sales (Rs. 12.58cr).
Notably, Bell Bottom has been distributed in a small number of theatres (in comparison to pre-COVID-19 times), yet halls are nearly half-full.