Looks like the long-term differences between Karan Johar and Shahid Kapoor will extend to their films clashing at the box office as well. While Shahid’s next film Phata Poster Nikla Hero is all set to release on September 20, Karan’s film Ungli too is all set to hit the marquee on the same day, after being pushed back by two weeks from September 6.
However, certain sections of the trade are buzzing with rumours that the filmmaker could have deliberately postponed his film to clash with Shahid’s. Also, by the virtue of KJo’s clout among distributors and exhibitors, could it affect Sasha’s film’s prospects at the box office?
A source says, “Karan and Shahid have not exactly shared a good rapport in the past. They had a clash of sorts when Sasha walked out of Kaal. After that they did not work for years only to reunite for Punit Malhotra’s film. Even then, Shahid walked out of Gori Tere Pyaar Mein at the last minute, only to be replaced by Imran Khan. It seems Karan might have deliberately pushed his film by two weeks to clash with Shahid.”
While Karan’s film (directed by Rensil D’Silva) has quite a few names to boast of - Emraan Hashmi, Randeep Hooda and Sanjay Dutt, Rajkumar Santoshi’s film (produced by Ramesh Taurani) is riding just on Shahid. However, sources from Karan’s camp vehemently deny the charges and state, “The film has been pushed by two weeks because it would not be ready by that time. Ranbir Kapoor’s Besharam releases on October 2. It made better business sense to not clash with Ranbir.”
KJo flexing his muscles?
But on whether Karan’s influence can really affect the business of Shahid’s film, the trade seems to be divided in their opinion. While some feel that Shahid should have nothing to worry, others feel that KJo could turn the tide for him.
Trade expert Amod Mehra says, “Only few weeks a year could be set aside for being good for business. So it is obvious that the films will clash and eat into each other’s business.” However, Atul Mohan feels that a lot depends on the kind of promotions that take place around Sasha’s film.
“Karan does not have a Ranbir or SRK in his film so he will leave no stone unturned to use his clout. Exhibitors and distributors would be happy to be in KJo’s good books. Any day, Karan is far more powerful than Taurani or Santoshi,” says Mohan.