Shivaay to Ae Dil Hai Mushkil: How threatening is Bollywood’s clash of titles? | bollywood | Hindustan Times
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Shivaay to Ae Dil Hai Mushkil: How threatening is Bollywood’s clash of titles?

Lagaan and Gadar released on the same day and became hits; we ask experts if two clashing films can do as well even today.

bollywood Updated: Aug 25, 2016 08:47 IST
Prashant Singh
Anushka Sharma will be seen alongside Ranbir Kapoor and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan in Karan Johar’s Ae Dil Hai Mushkil that clashes with Ajay Devgn’s Shivaay in October.
Anushka Sharma will be seen alongside Ranbir Kapoor and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan in Karan Johar’s Ae Dil Hai Mushkil that clashes with Ajay Devgn’s Shivaay in October.

In 2001, on June 15, when Lagaan and Gadar: Ek Prem Katha released on the same day, not many expected both the films to become runaway hits. Since then, we haven’t seen several examples of two films releasing on the same date and doing well.

Last year, Dilwale didn’t live up to the audience’s expectations when it released alongside Bajirao Mastani. This year, Mohenjo Daro, which released with Rustom, met with the same fate.

Read: Salman Khan roars at the box office, Sultan earns Rs 105.34cr in three days

Divided attention

“With increased competition, and the division of shows, it won’t be easy for us to see the Lagaan-Gadar case repeat itself. In such a scenario, even a slightly negative report can badly affect a film,” says trade analyst Taran Adarsh.

Read: Neerja to Udta Punjab: Films that worked at the box office in 2016

Film-maker Sanjay Gupta, whose next movie, Kaabil, starring Hrithik Roshan, is scheduled to clash with Shah Rukh Khan’s Raees (on January 26), insists, “A clash is never good.”

The Sidharth Malhotra- and-Katrina Kaif-starrer Baar Baar Dekho will release alongside Freaky Ali.

Still, a number of films are set to clash in the coming months. Baar Baar Dekho will release with Freaky Ali (on September 9), Pink with Raaz Reboot (on September 16), Ae Dil Hai Mushkil with Shivaay (on October 28), Dear Zindagi with Kahaani 2 (on November 25), Jolly LLB 2 with Raabta (on February 10), and Jagga Jasoos with Noor (on April 7).

Nawazudin Siddiqui stars in the lead in director Sohail Khan’s Freaky Ali.

“It doesn’t make sense to fight for a regular week with only Sunday as the holiday. It is only going to spoil the market for both the parties,” adds Sanjay. Taran feels that clashes must be avoided, as most makers are already walking a tightrope. “Today’s audiences have many other options for entertainment, including TV, Internet, etc,” he says.

The Ajay Devgn-starrer Shivaay will release alongside film-maker Karan Johar’s Ae Dil Hai Mushkil.

Content is king

So, how do makers ensure their films do better than the other releases? Experts say it all boils down to the content. “The factors that determine the fate of a film are not just entirely star-dependent. Ultimately, the story of a film will take it ahead, not a holiday or a festival period,” says exhibitor-distributor Akshaye Rathi.

The Shah Rukh Khan- and-Alia Bhatt-starrer Dear Zindagi will release on the same day as Kahaani 2.

However, Sanjay doesn’t understand the rush for a ‘holiday release’. “What’s the obsession with it? All of us have watched films starring Amitabh Bachchan without thinking about whether it is a ‘holiday release’ or not,” says the film-maker.