Shah Rukh Khan’s Pathaan’s success pushes Shehzada, now clashes with Ant Man: Wise decision?
Is it a wise decision to always postpone the release of a film which is coming right after an event film like Shah Rukh Khan’s Pathaan? We talk to experts.
Pathaan’s record-breaking business at the box office is certainly going to change a lot of things. It has set the benchmark very high, and the first one feeling the heat is Shehzada. Starring Kartik Aaryan and Kriti Sanon in the leading roles, the comedy drama is the Hindi adaptation of the Allu Arjun Telugu hit Ala Vaikunthapuramulloo.
Shehzada’s release has been pushed by a week. The makers have issued a statement, “Shehzada gets a new release date! Out of respect for Pathaan, this Kartik Aaryan Kriti Sanon starrer directed by Rohit Dhawan... will now release on 17th February 2023!”
Is it a wise decision to push the release of a film which is coming just after an event film like Pathaan? In 2022 alone, we had three big examples proving it- Akshay Kumar’s Bachchan Pandey had released on March 18, right after The Kashmir Files (March 11). Kumar himself had admitted that the TKF wave impacted them, “Vivek ji ne Kashmir Files bana kar humara desh ke ek bohot bade dardanak sach ko samne rakha hain. Ye film ek aisi bhet bann kar ayi, ye aur baat hain ki meri picture ko bhi duba diya hain.”
Then came Aaryan’s Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2 on May 20. Ayushmann Khurrana’s Anek released next on 27th. Result? While the content itself also comes udner the scanner, the BB2 craze affected it a lot. Ajay Devgn’s mystery drama Drishyam 2 got so big that Varun Dhawan’s Bhediya a week later on November 25 saw a dent in it’s collections.
Trade analyst Taran Adarsh says, “There are two ways of looking at this. Earlier, Shehzada had a solitary release date. It had Valentines Day bonus as well on 14th. But now, they have missed out on that, and will clash with Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania on 17th. Then a week later, Akshay Kumar- Emraan Hashmi’s Selfiee will release.”
There’s also the argument that for a film like Pathaan, entire families went to watch it. Some even watched it twice or thrice. By doing this, they have already spent a chunk of money, and might be apprehensive going out to see a film so soon. Adarsh replies, “I don’t think so. If there’s a good film, it will run, irrespective of the people’s budget. There is very little breathing space now though, with two films on the same day and another big film just a week later. The audience needs that space.”
Rajender Singh Jyala, chief programming officer, INOX Leisure says back to back releases do well, “I am sure Shehzada makers took the decision after weighing all options. It would have been the third week of Pathaan on 10th, we have enough capacity to run both. The screens for the latter would have reduced, it can’t hold forever. Even RRR and KGF 2, they released within weeks of each other, and both became superhits, same with Gangubai Kathiawadi and The Kashmir Files.”
Meanwhile, we have got to know from our sources that the team of Shehzada, looking at the way Pathaan’s songs have connected, are planning to add another promotional song to their film. Same will be the case with Selfiee. Trade expert Atul Mohan meanwhile emphasises on the clash of Shehzada with Ant Man, “Ant Man is a big film, and they are going to clash now. It is a wait and watch situation.”