Sanjay Leela Bhansali on Padman's release: Akshay Kumar's act showed solidarity in B-Town

Updated: Feb 02, 2018, 13:09 IST | Sonil Dedhia

As Padmaavat becomes a roaring success, Sanjay Leela Bhansali expresses gratitude to Akshay Kumar for averting box-office clash with Padman

Sanjay Leela Bhansali and Akshay Kumar
Sanjay Leela Bhansali and Akshay Kumar

Sanjay Leela Bhansali is in a happy space now, with his labour of love Padmaavat having set the box office on fire. A week into its release, the Deepika Padukone, Ranveer Singh and Shahid Kapoor-starrer has already sealed its place in the coveted 100-crore club and is nearing the Rs 150-crore mark. Bhansali is well aware that he owes the success as much to his team and audience, as he does to Akshay Kumar. After all, it was Kumar's decision of pushing ahead the release of Padman to February 9, at Bhansali's behest, that gave Padmaavat a free rein at the box office.

Stills from Pad Man
Stills from Pad Man

Bhansali says that it was imperative that the two big-ticket movies did not lock horns. "It was important for both the films to come to an understanding. I asked Akshay not to release our films on the same day because loss was imminent for both of us in such a case. I was not in a position to lose anymore, which he thankfully understood."

Stills from Padmaavat
Stills from Padmaavat

Praising Kumar for his bold move, the filmmaker adds, "His gesture only showed the solidarity within the industry." Kumar's act of making way for another film came as a refreshing change in an industry that is often accused of being ego-centric. It's not rare to see filmmakers refusing to budge from their projects' release date — a stand that may well be a combination of ego and economics.

Just a week before the release of his social drama starring Sonam Kapoor and Radhika Apte, Kumar had called for a press conference where he announced that he was bowing out of the box-office clash with Padmaavat as he understood that Bhansali had "much more at stake" than him. Shahid Kapoor, the leading man of the period drama, too gives credit where it's due: "It was magnanimous of Akshay to push his film ahead. I am really looking forward to watching Padman."

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