The Shiv Sena’s campaign against My Name Is Khan continued on Wednesday as advance bookings for the film, due for release on Friday, remained shut.
With questions still hanging over whether the state can provide adequate security at theatres and multiplexes, there have not been many online bookings either, theatre owners said.
At stake, meanwhile, is Rs 100 core (box office and music sales).
HT had reported on February 5 that Fox Star Studios acquired the distribution rights of MNIK for about Rs 81 crore. “This means the film has to net at least Rs 60 crore in India to recover the investment,” says trade analyst Amod Mehra. “The Bombay circuit and Maharashtra contribute about 40 per cent of the country’s total collections — a minimum of about Rs 20 crore.”
Trade veteran Komal Nahta adds that about Rs 2.5 crore is at stake per day in Mumbai and Maharashtra.
Although director-producer Karan Johar and star Shah Rukh Khan have sold the film to Fox Star, that does mean they are in the clear either.
In London, Khan apologised to Karan and Fox Star and promised he would make up for the losses they might incur because he has refused to apologise to the Shiv Sena for his comments in support of Pakistani cricket players. While Fox Studios has insurance for the film, the terms are not clear and CEO Vijay Singh was unavailable for comment.
Meanwhile, most exhibitors are expected to decide by late on Thursday or even on Friday morning whether to go ahead with screenings of the film.
“They’re all waiting and watching to see how things turn out after distributors and exhibitors meet the law-enforcing agencies,” said an industry insider.
Some, like Maratha Mandir in Mumbai Central and the G7 mutiplex in Bandra, have decided to cancel all MNIK screenings on Friday.
“Miscreants tore the screen at Maratha Mandir on Tuesday,” said executive director of both establishments Manoj Desai. “I’ve already suffered a loss of Rs 1 lakh.” Desai added that he will instead be screening Wolfman dubbed in Hindi at the timings allotted to MNIK.
Trade veteran Nahta, meanwhile, said the chaos proved that the state government had “failed miserably”.
“CM Ashok Chavan is merely giving lip service. Such statements are not going to do anything to stop this vandalism,” he said. “The government ought to hang its head in shame.”