The news of Prakash Jha’s ‘Satyagraha’ being postponed from 15th August to 23rd August 2013 has caught on like a house on fire yesterday. Industry insiders are quite surprised and as expected many stories and speculations are being made and why not? 15th August is the most favorable release date and it holds the record for the highest single day collections from a Hindi movie. ‘Ek Tha Tiger’ released on the same day last year and collected 32 crores.
Of course there is Ekta Kapoor’s ‘Once Upon A Time in Mumbai Again’ slated to release on 8th August which too is a big holiday Eid weekend and the movie is eagerly awaited by one and all as Akshay will be seen portraying the character of ‘Dawood Ibrahim’ on screen. But even Prakash Jha’s social drama starring Ajay Devgn and Kareena Kapoor would have benefitted by having a huge holiday release. There is a remote possibility that ‘Satyagraha’ was postponed just to give 2 open weeks to ‘OUATIM’.
Now if the makers of such a big movie have decided to shift ahead by a week, there is a certain chance that an even bigger movie is eyeing a release during the same period. No prizes for guessing the 2 big films which could release on 15th August. It’s a well known fact that the release dates of Shahrukh Khan’s ‘Chennai Express’ and Salman Khan’s ‘Mental’(working title) have not been officially announced yet and given the reach of both these movies, it would only be fair to give a holiday weekend to both.
As far as ‘Chennai Express’ is concerned, Rohit Shetty is like an extended family to Ajay Devgn and he would never want to compete with an Ajay’s film. Also, the two will be working together on Singham 2 and Golmaal 4 in the next couple of years. The much publicized legal tussle between ADF’s ‘Son of Sardar’ and SRK’s ‘Jab Tak Hai Jaan’ is still fresh in the minds of people and no one would want the same unfortunate situation to arise again. So Chennai Express might just release in the last week of July giving it an open and free run for two weeks till ‘OUATIMA’ releases on Eid.
That leaves us with Salman Khan’s next. In the recent past, reputed trade analysts and reliable sources within the industry have reiterated time and again that Salman will definitely have a release in August this year. Given the fact that his last 3 EID releases (Dabangg, Bodyguard and Ek Tha Tiger) have smashed opening records, there is no reason why he would want to miss out on his ‘lucky’ weekend.
But without a official word from the superstar’s camp, the only confirmed news is that the shooting for this Sohail Khan directed film will begin in March and it will be shot in a 60 day start to finish schedule in Goa, Lavasa (near Pune) and Kolhapur. What this effectively means is, the shooting of the film will begin in March and end by May, giving it a good 2 months for post-production and marketing.
So there is a possibility that just like the previous Diwali, this Eid may also witness a mega clash at the box office. However, it would be a better idea for one of the two movies to avoid the clash and release on August 8th (EID) and August 15th (Independence day).