After months of hard work, no filmmaker wants another film to eat into his or her project’s business when it hits theatres. Hence, they’re ready to adjust release dates. As a result, Ajay Devgn-starrer Baadshaho won’t clash with Shah Rukh Khan’s Raees and Hrithik Roshan’s Kaabil at the box office. This, after Ajay and SRK’s films (Son of Sardaar and Jab Tak Hai Jaan) clashed in 2012, after none shifted the date, and a legal battle ensued.
We also hear that Sushant Singh Rajput’s MS Dhoni: The Untold Story has been pushed to September 30 to avoid releasing alongside Sonakshi Sinha’s Akira (September 2). So was Irrfan’s film, Madaari, to avoid clash with Great Grand Masti.
“We delayed the release of Madaari to avoid clashing with Great Grand Masti. We thought if we release on the same day, we might end up eating into each other’s business,” says Irrfan.
Trade analyst Atul Mohan, however, says this doesn’t always work out. “It depends on the equation filmmakers share. Many a times, no one’s ready to budge. Saawariya and Om Shanti Om released together in 2007 and Dilwale and Bajirao Mastani clashed in 2015,” he says.
Sometimes, it’s because no one gives up a festive slot. Film distributor Rajesh Thadani says, “There are only 52 weeks in a year and everyone wants holidays. So whenever a date is announced, there is a chance of another film releasing on the same day. Sometimes, it’s possible to work out a solution, otherwise you just need to compromise.”
Then, there are filmmakers like Ashutosh Gowarikar who don’t care about a clash. “Clashes always happen. The thought is that if two films come together, box office revenues get divided. But if you want to release it on a particular date you need to see how the film impacts everyone. Sholay and Jai Santoshi Ma, Lagaan and Gadar all released same day in 2001. Lagaan was my film,” he said at a recent event, hoping that his film, Mohenjo Daro, and Akshay Kumar’s Rustom both prove to be “blockbusters” when they clash on August 12.
Trade analyst Omar Qureshi says that filmmakers have become more accommodating of each others’ films along with being smarter. “Everyone knows that a big film will always be preferred to what is perceived as a relatively smaller film. So for example, a Salman Khan, Aamir Khan or Shah Rukh film will be given more screens than any other film. So no one wants to take that chance,” he says. “However, just delaying for a few screens may not be the best option nowadays as there are chances of the movie being leaked, which is worse,” adds Qureshi.
Hollywood films, too, are known to shift their release in India to avoid a clash with a Bollywood blockbuster. Ice Age: Collision Course released earlier to avoid clash with Rajinikanth’s upcoming Kabali. Steven Spielberg’s The BFG’s release date was pushed because of Salman Khan’s Sultan releasing at the same time. Earlier this year, The Jungle Book also avoided a clash with SRK’s Fan.
Rakesh Roshan says he and SRK “met for dinner”, and not to discuss release dates
Meanwhile, it was reported that filmmaker Rakesh Roshan met Shah Rukh Khan recently to discuss the release of their films Kaabil and Rees on January 26 next year, however Rakesh denied this. “We didn’t discuss the shifting of the release date. Shah Rukh called and said that we haven’t met for a long time so they came over. We were just sitting and chatting like old times,” he was quoted as saying.