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HindustanTimes Fri,22 Aug 2014

Irrfan takes on Salman Khan

Prashant Singh , Hindustan Times  Mumbai, June 21, 2012
First Published: 18:16 IST(19/6/2012) | Last Updated: 17:01 IST(21/6/2012)

The three Khans — Aamir, Shah Rukh and Salman — are known to be huge box-office draws. But this December 21, the ticket windows will see another Khan join in the race, even though this actor has dropped his last name. Irrfan’s Hollywood biggie, Life Of Pi, and Salman’s Dabangg 2 will open on that Friday. However, trade experts insist that the Ang Lee directorial will not be too much of a threat.

“Of course, there will be some competition, but Salman is a very big star right now. Even a huge Indian actor would think twice about clashing with him,” says trade analyst Komal Nahta. Ask Irrfan about it and he smiles, before saying, “Yes, Life Of Pi is supposed to release around then. But this is not entirely my film. It doesn’t bank on me and Ang Lee is a much bigger name.

Also, both the films (Life Of Pi and Dabangg 2) have their own markets. So, I don’t see any clash.” Meanwhile, the actor leaves for Los Angeles, USA, in a few days to complete Lee’s film. “No one should be worried about such clashes.

Every film comes with its own market and audiences,” says Irrfan. Adds trade expert Atul Mohan, “Salman is a huge name today in terms of box-office prowess; I don’t see a reason why Life Of Pi would affect Dabangg 2’s run.” Apparently, the makers of Life Of Pi recently rescheduled the film’s US release for November 21, a month before its Indian launch.

Only time will tell whether they plan to move its release in India or not. Producer Vijay Singh, CEO of Fox Star Studios India, remained unavailable for comment. Interestingly, on December 25, a week after Dabangg 2’s release, Salman will also face some competition from Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby, which features Amitabh Bachchan in a special appearance along with Leonardo DiCaprio and Tobey Maguire.

“The Great Gatsby is a huge film, but the public knows that Bachchanji has a small role in it. Since Salman’s films usually go on for three to four weeks, there’s no trouble is sight for him,” adds Atul.

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