If Ram Gopal Varma and his producers were anticipating a solo week for their forthcoming Rann, then Anil Sharma’s Veer with Salman Khan will also stake its claim to the box-office pie. The two films are releasing on January 22 next year. Vishal Bharadwaj’s Ishkiyaan, also scheduled to release on same day, will open a week earlier.
While producer Vijay Galani and presenters Eros Entertainment are believed to have pumped in over Rs 40 crore into the period epic with Khan, Sheetal Talwar and Madhu Mantena are said to have invested less than that for Varma’s film on the media, in which Amitabh Bachchan plays the head of a news channel.
Sheetal Talwar, the producer of Rann, remains unperturbed: “Initially we were planning to come on October 2, but after the strike, the release dates were decided by the United Producers Distributors Forum. So we opted for Janauary 22 and since we announced the date, all our promotional campaigns have been planned accordingly. So it’s news to me that Veer and Ishkiyaan are also releasing on the same day.”
Galani says that the Republic Day suits the patriotic sub-plot of the film. He says, “My film is set in the 1800s when India was under the British and the fight for freedom was underway. So, 26 January, when the atmosphere is one of joy of being free and a democratic republic, perfectly suits Veer.”
Viewers the judge
Talwar too doesn’t fear the films eating into each other’s business. “Anil Sharma is a good director and I respect Salman Khan as an actor. But I have more respect for my own movie. The audience is the best judge. If the film is good, it will work even if two other films are releasing simultaneously. And if the audience doesn’t like a movie, it won’t run even if it’s the only release of the week,” he says.
Sharma, whose Apne failed to score over Himesh Reshammiya’s Aap Kaa Surroor and Emraan Hashmi’s Awarapan, is optimistic as his Gadar emerged a big hit despite clashing with Aamir Khan’s Lagaan. “My first film, Shraddhanjali, released with six other films. But it did better than the others,” he says.
But Sharma’s producer Galani differs with him. “Any clash is bound to affect the film. Though it’s difficult to predict which one will do the best business, about 10 to 15 per cent of the collections are affected when two or three films release on the same day,” he says.
Vinod Mirani, managing editor of Box Office India, says it’s way too early to say anything about the fate of these films. “Of late, Ramu’s films have been rather unpredictable. So everyone will keep fingers crossed for Rann. As for Veer, it’s a remake of Taras Bulba, a complex film. One hopes it has been very well adapted,” he said.