Nothing sells like success in Bollywood. Why else would distributors choose Salman Khan’s next release over Hrithik Roshan’s upcoming film? Khan’s bumper hit Dabangg has resulted in him winning the race to have his film, Ready, released before Roshan’s Zindagi Milegi Na Dobara (ZMND). Initially, both films were set to clash on May 27. It is believed that distributors were worried about two big films releasing on the same day. Apparently, certain distributors also tried speaking to producers of both the films to avoid a clash. However, the makers weren’t willing to budge.
Suddenly, news came in about Excel Movies postponing ZMND to June 23. Trade sources say the release date of ZMND may have been postponed because a large chunk of distributors, especially from the smaller centres, were more excited about Ready rather than Hrithik’s ZMND. “After Dabangg, Salman is a huge star at the box-office while Hrithik’s last two films, Kites and Guzaarish flopped miserably. Also, Zoya Akhtar’s first film Lucky By Chance was a flop. Distributors wanted a solo release for Ready because they feel the film is safer than ZMND, which looks like a niche film,” says a senior film distributor, not wishing to be named.
However, ZMND producer Ritesh Sidhwani says that the film has been postponed to June 23 because “it won’t be complete” by May. “I seriously don’t know anything about distributors from smaller or bigger centres preferring Ready over our film,” says Sidhwani, who is in Malaysia for the shooting of Don 2. A Delhi-based distributor says, “After Dabangg, he has become a huge star with the masses. No other actor, including Hrithik, can compete with him in that space.” Interestingly, Ready too has been postponed to June 3 to avoid clashing with the Indian Premier League finals on May 29. “Due to the IPL finals being postponed, the release date of Ready has been pushed,” says producer Bhushan Kumar.