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Clash of the titans: Who’ll blink first?

DECCAN CHRONICLE | SUBHASH K. JHA
Published Oct 29, 2015, 5:39 am IST
Updated Mar 27, 2019, 7:56 am IST
The battle for theatres has begun
Dilwale and Bajirao Mastani
 Dilwale and Bajirao Mastani

December 18 is a big day for Bollywood. Two of the biggest films of the year — Bajirao Mastani and Dilwale — will release on that day. Now, having a strong competitor at the box office cannot be good news for either of the parties involved, but that hasn’t led to either of the two blinking first. Is that a good thing?

A producer known to churn hits after hits on condition of anonymity said, “Bajirao looks charming, but the combination of Rohit Shetty and Shah Rukh Khan will draw the crowds first. People will probably see Dilwale first and then Bajirao.”

Trade analyst Taran Adarsh has a different take though. “The release of these two biggies is timed during the Christmas and New Year holidays and I genuinely feel that two good films can easily co-exist in today’s times. It’s a great period with holidays aplenty, so why postpone? I don’t think Dilwale or Bajirao Mastani will or should shift from their December 18 release date. Bajirao Mastani has already commenced promotions, while the trailer of Dilwale will be attached to Prem Ratan Dhan Payo.”

Meanwhile, the battle for theatres has begun. One hears that Shah Rukh’s production house Red Chillies will be booking a majority of the screens across the country.

“They have the clout. No one says ‘no’ to Shah Rukh Khan. Remember when Jab Tak Hai Jaan had clashed with Ajay Devgn’s Son Of Sardar over Christmas in 2010? Ajay was left with little choice in terms of theatrical outlets,” says an unnamed trade expert.

Another trade analyst Atul Mohan adds, “We have enough number of screens to accommodate both the films. Agreed that the stakes are high but both the producers are strong and know the business more than we know.”
 

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