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Battle of biggies: 'Bajirao Mastani' makers suffer a major setback

Bajirao Mastani makers' deal to keep single screens only for their film disallowed by the High Court

The makers of 'Bajirao Mastani' suffered a major blow, hours before their big box office clash with 'Dilwale'. Eros International, producer of the period drama, had moved the High Court after single-screen exhibitors refused to honour a previous contract preventing them from running any film other than the period drama in their theatres. However, the court has allowed theatre owners to run both big-banner films, revealed sources present during the hearing last afternoon.

Also read: An ego battle? 'Dilwale' vs 'Bajirao Mastani' clash gets dirty

A still from Bajirao Mastani and (inset) Dilwale’s poster
A still from Bajirao Mastani (right) and Dilwale’s poster

"Prior to the release of their Bajrangi Bhaijaan in July, Eros signed an agreement with the single screen theatre owners in the Bombay Circuit, Delhi, Rajasthan and many other places in India, asking them not to screen any other film except Bajirao Mastani for at least a week. However, the exhibitors were worried that they might suffer losses if the film didn’t find as many takers as Dilwale, which stars Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol," says a source.

Also read: Screen-ing competition - 'Dilwale' seems to have an upper hand over 'Bajirao Mastani'

When the theatre owners expressed their wish to allot equal number of shows to Dilwale, Eros bosses were miffed and filed a complaint with the High Court on Wednesday, adds the source.

Also read: Battle of biggies - 'Dilwale' vs 'Bajirao Mastani' in 2015's biggest Friday

While there wasn't sufficient clarity about the reasons for the court ruling in favour of theatre owners, the production company in a media statement said, "We have valid signed contracts and the court pointed out that we have recourse to damages on solo houseful basis. However, we hope to settle amicably. We already have the showcasing as per our strategy and are getting very positive reactions for Bajirao Mastani from all over the world. We are confident our magnificent film will be a winner with the audiences."

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