Diwali clash: SRK edges Ajay out of theatres?
The production house has asked distributors to give Yash Chopra’s Diwali release more importance, leaving the other film Son Of Sardaar in trouble
Prachi Kadam (MUMBAI MIRROR; July 21, 2012)
This Diwali, Ajay Devgn and Shah Rukh Khan will lock horns at the box office. Thanks to the makers of Son Of Sardaar and Yash Chopra’s directorial venture who scheduled the release of their films on November 14. And though it is still a few months before the firecrackers go off, Mirror has learnt that the war has already begun. In fact, if sources are to be believed, Khan has already won half the battle. The latest buzz in the trade is that distributors were told to book the same number of screens for Yash Chopra’s film as for Salman Khan’s Ek Tha Tiger. In simple words, more than half the theatres will be playing SRK’s film, leaving Devgn little room at the ticket window. Akshaye Rathi a fourth generation exhibitor and distributor tweeted, “Yashji’s film has already been signed for all the cinemas across India which is playing Ek Tha Tiger. That takes away the best ones!” A source from a leading theatre in the city agreed, “When there are stars like SRK and Ajay involved, that too when it’s a Diwali release, it becomes a tough call for us. When we are asked to give one film as many shows as Salman’s solo release, we are in a fix. Because here we have two big stars and two big films to showcase. However, SRK and Yashji’s film will take more shows both in multiplexes and single screen theatres.”
Another multiplex chain head told us, “Firstly, being a SRK-Yashji combo, one can safely assume maximum shows will go to that film. It will approximately be a 70:30 ratio. And it is a practice that is followed by few producers when they have big releases back to back.”
Trade expert Taran Adarsh said, “When big films release on the same date, there is always a battle to get the maximum space. But at the same time, two films can easily coexist. However, if producers have already had a word with distributors in terms of blocking slots in advance, things may be different. Here, if Yashji’s film gets as many shows as Ek Tha Tiger – a solo Eid release, then be it in India or overseas, Ajay’s film even as big as this one, will have to fight a harder battle.”
When contacted, YRF’s spokesperson said, “YRF has been dealing with the same theatre owners through our distribution offices over the last 40 years and all of them would be more than happy to screen a Yash Chopra film, coming after a gap of eight years, without any reservation.”
Devgn, however, remained unavailable for comment.
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