August 15 is set to see a clash between two Khans — Shah Rukh and Aamir. The former is unveiling the trailer of his film Happy New Year on the previous day, but it will hit theatres on Independence Day (it is attached to Ajay Devgn’s Singham Returns). On the same day, the latter is reportedly hosting a full-fledged event to launch a poster of PK that has been directed by Rajkumar Hirani.
But industry experts play down the ‘clash’ aspect, saying that everyone is entitled to do the best to promote their films. “While one is releasing a trailer, the other will launch a poster, so I don’t see competition or a conspiracy theory. They have just chosen dates that are feasible to them and are targeting completely different mediums. It would have made sense if Aamir was also releasing a trailer on the same day,” says filmmaker Sanjay Gupta.
According to trade analyst Atul Mohan, it’s simply a smart marketing move. “Coming on a national holiday, Ajay’s film will have large footfalls, so attaching a trailer with it is a smart move. Even Aamir knows that Independence Day would be ideal as people will have spare time to watch TV and surf the Internet. The second poster of his film will have good reach in the media and on social networking websites,” he says.
Interestingly, in 2008, Shah Rukh’s Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi and Aamir’s Ghajini released on December 12 and 25 respectively. To promote his film, Aamir got ushers in cinema halls to shave their heads like his character, so when anyone went to watch Shah Rukh’s film, they’d get a glimpse of Aamir’s too.
“We have 52 weeks in a year, and over 300 releases, so it’s a given that film-makers will try to come up with strategies that stand out. I don’t see a dirty ploy here. Everyone will do what’s best for their film,” says exhibitor-distributor Akshaye Rathi.
Film business expert Girish Johar sums it up, saying, “It’s a triple bonanza for the audience. They are not only going to get a new film to watch, but also get glimpses of the content of two upcoming films.”