Sardaar flexes marketing muscle

Updated on Aug 30, 2012 05:58 PM IST

Ajay Devgn’s Diwali release plans to take on Yash Raj’s film with aggressive marketing and a budget that might be as high as Rs 50 crore.

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Hindustan Times | ByDibyojyoti Baksi, Mumbai

Bollywood is getting ready for some major fireworks this Diwali, as once again, two superstars battle it out for box office supremacy. Both Ajay Devgan’s Son of Sardaar (SOS) and Yash Chopra’s yet-untitled film starring Shah Rukh Khan, release on November 13. However, the makers of SOS are ready for the challenge and have set aside a huge marketing budget to promote the film.

Vikram Malhotra, CEO of Viacom 18, says, “We have aggressive and innovative marketing strategies lined up for SOS, which will start soon and continue right until the release period.”

A source says that Viacom is set to shell out a whopping Rs 50 crore for the worldwide promotion of the film. Vikram rubbishes the speculation, but hints at a major marketing budget for the film: “Given that it’s a big film and an important time to release a movie, we will make sure that we spend the right amount, on par with the potential of our film. It will not be as ridiculous as R50 crore though,” he says.

While Viacom is concerned that theirs isn’t the only big film releasing on the date, Vikram says they aren’t threatened because the other one is an SRK-starrer. “The audience will decide which film they want to watch. Multiple films release every weekend, and they are all doing well. There is no question of a threat,” he says. Vikram is sure that there is enough room for both films: “There are a number of instances when two films have released during Diwali and both have done well,” he says.

Trade analyst Amod Mehra, however, predicts that SOS will have difficulty in getting movie halls, but he is sure that it won’t have to struggle to make money. “Budget-wise, SOS is not so expensive, so it won’t require Rs 200 crore to recover its cost. Even if it gets eight shows in multiplexes, that’s more than decent,” says Mehra. As Diwali usually sees even bigger openings than Eid, he is sure both films could do well.

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