From Jab Harry Met Sejal to Sanjay Dutt biopic — filmmakers avert clash at box office

Release dates of films such as Jab Harry met Sejal, Haseena-The Queen of Bombay and Sanjay Dutt biopic have been changed; trade experts say this is an example to be followed.

bollywood Updated: Jul 04, 2017 00:40 IST
Anjuri Nayar Singh
Anjuri Nayar Singh
Hindustan Times
Jab Harry met Sejal,Toilet - Ek Prem Katha,Shah Rukh Khan
Actor Shah Rukh Khan’s film Jab Harry Met Sejal will release a week before Akshay Kumar’s Toilet: Ek Prem Katha.(Instagram/iamsrk)

The year started with the much hyped box-office clash between Shah Rukh Khan’s Raees and Hrithik Roshan’s Kaabil. Before the films released, it was speculated that the clash would be avoided and it was just a case of ‘who would blink first?’. The rest of the year, too, seemed set for a series of big box-office clashes, but that’s not happening now.

Filmmaker Imtiaz Ali’s Shah Rukh Khan-Anushka Sharma starrer Jab Harry Met Sejal was initially clashing with actor Akshay Kumar’s Toilet - Ek Prem Katha, however it will now release a week earlier. Besides this, actor Sanjay Dutt’s biopic will not clash with Salman-Katrina’s Tiger Zinda Hai, as it will now hit screens next year in March, instead of December this year. Actor Kriti Sanon starrer Bareilly ki Barfi was earlier supposed to release on July 21, but will now hit screens in August, thereby avoiding the clash with Tiger Shroff-starrer Munna Michael. The release date of Shraddha Kapoor-starrer Haseena-The Queen of Bombay has been pushed to July 28 to avoid clashing with Ranbir Kapoor-Katrina Kaif’s film Jagga Jasoos that releases on July 14.

Munna Michael director Sabbir Khan says that filmmakers are trying their best to avoid releasing their films on the same day so that it doesn’t hamper business. “I think every filmmaker is just trying to ensure that they have a clear window for their film. They also don’t want to step on each other’s toes,” says Sabbir.

Trade analyst Atul Mohan agrees with him, adding that India doesn’t have enough screens to accommodate two big budget films. “The number of screens we have in India are still not sufficient for two big budget films. This is why every time this happens, distributors start fighting over screens. What Shah Rukh and Akshay have done needs to be looked at as an example for everyone to follow,” he says, adding, “Releasing on the same day will not benefit anyone.”

When we fell in love #HASEENA #IBRAHIM @ankurbhatia

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Shah Rukh says that less screens translate into less business for films, which is why a clash with another film must be avoided. “Our films do have a big capacity. It requires 3000-4000 screens but if my film clashes with another one, the capacity of my film gets reduced to say 2000 screens. So, you end up running to low capacity. Business wise, that’s a [major] consideration,” he told us earlier.

A source from the team of Haseena-The Queen of Bombay says that they were having issues getting sufficient screens when they were releasing with Jagga Jasoos. “On July 14, we were not getting proper theatre screens and timings. Now having shifted by two weeks, we at least stand a fair chance,” the source was quoted as saying.

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Talking about the decision to postpone the release date of Sunjay Dutt’s biopic to next year, actor Ranbir Kapoor says it’s a wise decision. “Tiger Zinda Hai is the biggest film of the year. I am sure the producers would have done good meetings, understood the logistics, the budget... like how much the film can earn and all and have taken this wise decision ,” he said recently.

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First Published: Jun 11, 2017 15:39 IST