Bollywood has always witnessed big clashes on Eid and Independence Day, but this August, filmmakers have given a clever slip to the clash. With Rs 250 crore riding at the box-office thanks to Shah Rukh Khan’s Chennai Express, Akshay Kumar’s Once Upon A Time In Mumbai 2 (OUATIM2), John Abraham’s Madras Cafe and Ajay Devgn’s Satyagraha, makers have decided to play safe and keep the window clear by releasing their films on four successive weekends instead of same dates.
Ekta Kapoor’s OUATIM2 was earlier scheduled to release on Eid (August 9) but apparently, Shah Rukh Khan requested her father, veteran actor Jeetendra, to shift the release to August 15, as he wanted his film Chennai Express to be the solo release that Friday.
“Why make it an ego war and eat into each other’s business when producers can amicably discuss and release their films separately, making it a win-win situation for both? We are glad that we took this decision (of shifting OUATIM2’s release) and would request other filmmakers to also encourage this trend,” says Tanuj Garg of Kapoor’s Balaji Films. Cinema owners are also relieved. “With restricted number of screens, it’s difficult to do justice to each film in case of multiple releases, but this trend is good not just for us but also for fans who can now enjoy variety every weekend,” says Shirish Handa of Fun Cinemas.
Chennai Express comes on Eid, Once Upon A Time In Mumbai 2 on Independence Day, Satyagraha on the Parsi New Year ... this way, each film enjoys a holiday to cash in on.
Atul Mohan, trade expert
Clashes incur huge losses, so it’s best to avoid them. Now, the cost of filmmaking has gone up so much that no filmmaker is ready to lose money
Sunil Bohra, film distributor
August is a very crowded month, with big movies releasing back to back. We have a clear window for Satyagraha now, and all the movies in August will get their breathing space
Prakash Jha, director, Satyagraha