With one of the biggest clashes of the year between 'Sultan' and 'Raees' averted, it seems more Bollywood films are trying to avoid the situations of more than one movie releasing on the same day.
Stills from 'Raees' and 'Sultan'
Ever since news broke that 'Raees' and 'Sultan' will release during Eid this year, all eyes were set on the 'clash of the titans', as neither of the parties seemed to back off and were consistent in their stand to have a clash.
Superstar Shah Rukh Khan's 'Raees', however, was pushed to January 26, 2017, avoiding a release with the Salman Khan-starrer.
The makers of 'Raees' cited 'appropriate showcasing' of a film of 'such magnitude' for the push, but the move comes right after SRK's last release 'Dilwale' underperformed at the box office as it clashed with 'Bajirao Mastani' last year.
The 'Raees'-'Sultan' clash is not the only movie-event which was averted. Sunny Deol's 'Ghayal Once Again' was initially scheduled to release with Salman's 'Prem Ratan Dhan Payo' last year. The action-drama was, however, pushed to January 15, 2016.
In a surprising turn of events, the film's release was yet again pushed to February 5. While January 15, 2016 had only one film 'Chalk N Duster' playing, release of 'Ghayal Once Again' on the same day would have meant coming one week after Amitabh Bachchan-starrer 'Wazir' and a week before Akshay Kumar's 'Airlift'.
The weekend of May 27 was chock-a-block with Naseeruddin Shah's 'Waiting', Ram Gopal Varma's 'Veerappan' and Radhika Apte-starrer 'Phobia'.
Earlier, Richa Chadda-starrer 'Cabaret' was also scheduled to release on the same date. The film's release was, however, pushed ahead to avoid an apparent direct face-off with other films.
'Cabaret' and 'Raman Raghav 2.0'
Director Kaustav Narayan Niyogi had said that the film was delayed as the makers 'want to do the promotions in a robust manner' and ensure a 'dignified release'. Apart from 'Cabaret', another film which was reported to release on May 27 was Anurag Kashyap's 'Raman Raghav 2.0'.
The film's release on the same date would have meant a box office clash between Varma and Kashyap, who were once collaborators but later fell out. RGV's film traces the life of sandalwood smuggler and bandit 'Veerappan', while the 'Bombay Velvet' director's next film revolves around a serial-killer.
On the possibility of a clash, Varma had even said 'May the best killer win', but the makers of 'Raman Raghav 2.0' announced that the film will hit theatres on June 24 instead.
Another clash which has been averted is between Irrfan Khan-starrer 'Madaari' and Amitabh Bachchan-starrer 'Te3n'. 'Madaari' will now release on July 15, instead of clashing Big B's film on June 10. Even Nagesh Kukunoor's 'Dhanak', earlier scheduled to open with 'Te3n', has been deferred by a week.
Poster of 'Madaari' and 'TE3N'
The film will now clash with 'Udta Punjab', which stars Shahid Kapoor, Alia Bhatt and Kareena Kapoor Khan, on June 17. Even though the big SRK-Salman clash has been avoided, the next big box office clash seems between Akshay Kumar- starrer 'Rustom' and Hrithik Roshan-starrer 'Mohenjo Daro'.
Both 'Rustom' and 'Mohenjo Daro' are scheduled to release on August 12. While 'Rustom' is helmed by '1920 London' director Tinu Suresh Desai, 'Mohenjo Daro' marks the return of Ashutosh Gowariker after six years since his last film, 'Khelein Hum Jee Jaan Sey'.
As of now, both directors have said that they are set to open the film on the scheduled dates with no change in the release.
If the Independence Day weekend is packed with these, even Diwali seems to be heading for a major clash. Karan Johar's 'Ae Dil Hai Mushkil' and Ajay Devgn's 'Shivaay' are expected to release on October 28 this year, with no news of either director backing off.
The current year seems interesting as some biggies are avoiding to take their films head-on with others' projects, while others are willing to take the chance. It remains to be seen whether more clashes are averted.