Mumbai Mirror reveals inside details on Ekta-SRK fallout

Note: This article was first published on Mumbai Mirror.

With her biggest release of the year, Once Upon A Time In Mumbai Dobaara opening to a tepid box office response, Ekta Kapoor is not in a good mood these days. And the Balaji head honcho holds Shah Rukh Khan responsible for the debacle.

It was reported that Ekta had refused SRK’s request for a screening of her film at Mannat and Mirror has the details of the fallout.

Trouble started when SRK announced that Chennai Express will release on August 8 despite the fact that Ekta had already called dibs on Eid for the release of her ambitious project OUATIMD.

Ekta tried her best to outwit SRK in this battle, even calling in a favour from MNS (Mirror report dated August 2) to make the star tow the line.

Then began a long series of negotiations between her and Chennai Express’s producers, UTV Motion Pictures and Red Chillies Entertainment. Ekta finally agreed on the other big public holiday, August 15.

According to a source close to Ekta, she was assured by the production houses that they will withdraw their film on August 15 to make way for OUATIMD in at least 2000 halls across the country.

“Ekta relented because she was promised something in return. And the bait was the promise that Chennai Express wouldn’t come in the way of the big release she had planned for OUATIMD on Independence Day,” said the source. But given that Chennai Express set the cash registers ringing, the film’s producers decided that making way for OUATIMD will not be profitable. When Ekta learnt about it early last week, she was left fuming. Mirror has it that Shobha Kapoor called up UTV to enquire about the apparent volte face and was told that “it was SRK’s decision”. Things got worse when Jeetendra stepped in. He tried to reach SRK, who did not answer the calls, alleged a source close to Ekta. “While most of his calls went unanswered, finally an unrecognisable person picked up to say, ‘Shah Rukh sir is busy with interviews’,” added the source. The end result was that OUATIMD ended up opening on just 1600 screens; a limited release for a movie which was reportedly made at a budget of Rs 85 crore. “If UTV had lived up to its promise, OUATIMD could have raked in about Rs 10 crore more on its opening day which in turn might have had a Domino effect on its subsequent collections. To add to Balaji’s woes the halls they were given were small ones which in turn must have had an adverse effect on their opening day collection,” said a source from the industry.

When contacted, Ekta said, “Whatever has happened is extremely disgusting. I am very angry.”

Though SRK’s production house did not provide a statement, a source from the organisation told us, “Chennai Express released on August 9 and it is illogical to expect that the film will be voluntarily pulled out from theatres in its first crucial week.” This was corroborated by a source close to Siddharth Roy Kapur, the other producer of the film.

An official from a leading multiplex in Andheri West, on request of anonymity said, “It’s a producer’s prerogative to withdraw a film to aid the release of the next one. But we did not receive any such requests from the producers of Chennai Express
because it was doing very well. But please note that a producer can only ask for withdrawal, the number of shows we gave to OUATIMD on the first day were decided as per our discretion.”

Another multiplex from Juhu told Mirror that the producers of Chennai Express had “pressurised” theatres not to withdraw the film.



  • Hahaha.. Ekta is cleverly trying to blame SRK for her failure, whereas she should first understand that content is the king no matter what.. Even if OUTIMD would have got 5000 screens, with the stupid crap content the fate would have been the same.. Just having large number of screens is not enough, u need people to watch it too :)

    So a brave attempt by Ekta to blame SRK for her fault… anyways we will see what SRK has to say about this .. Record Express will continue to unstoppable, no matter how much negativity media tries to fill in as it has been doing in the case of SRK as always.

  • Ekta is absolutely right. Balaji had announced their movie long back that it would be an Eid release. SRK came quite late into the picture. It was on SRK’s request that Balaji postponed their release for 15th Aug. Srk promised them screens. irrespective of whatever the fate of the movie will be. SRK was prepared for everything when they requested ekta to postpone. what ever said and done if SRK & utv had a deal with Ekta & Balaji they should have stuck to it. Had OUATIMD been an EID release its fate would have been something else.They would have benefited a lot & so much negativity would not have happened.Giving Balaji a few cinemas & that too not very popular ones is in very bad taste. And SRK avoiding Ekta & her calls..Its very Disgusting. It only goes to prove one thing- CE has got huge benefit of this August Eid release which is full of holidays. Pre Eid- Eid holiday-followed by Eid weekend,then 15th august,then Rakhi & then Janmashtmi. I’m sure if you take out all the holidays,this movie would not have fared that well.
    without being biased if any movie this year showed good trends it was YJHD which did a business of over 180 without any benefit of a holiday. So acc to me YJHD is a real Blockbuster.
    And the other movie was 3 Idiots. If that movie is released today with 3800 screens & Holiday period,,,god knows what the collection would have been.
    So that explains it all. And Mr Admin Please dont remove my comments.This is my opinion which i have stated without passing any abusive remarks on anyone.

  • clearly its a case of sour grapes.
    this dirty politics was all started by ekta by trying to influence by bringing MNS. that was so so unprofessional
    and to the question of Chennai express giving way to outimd.Chennai express can just request theatre owners to give way outimd. but whether to allow or not is sorely a discretion and decision of theatre owners and distributors.
    no theatre owner or distributor is mad to leave CRORES by not allowing Chennai express and keeping their theatres empty.

  • Lol , bla bla bla nonsens, ur so called preview with 1600 colected more than ur 1st day :D with 2600 ,so stop crying like a baby it is not SRK or UTV mistake , it is your mistake, your movie is a disaster, WOM was a disaster

    first make good movie with good cast then ask for the screens, and it will work even with less than 1600

    every time their move became flop they use the same reason, screens and days they should thank srk becouse he gave them that option to use in covering their flop

    even after the withdrawCE colected more than your movie :D , so what u have to say other than the screens?!

    and it appeared that she is the 1 who did want srk to change the date first as i said not like what they said :D SRK call balaji and bla bla bla,

    grow up ppl

  • this entire story is cooked up on behalf of ektas disaster of outimd. lol.
    make a crap story and release it. and when it releases and becomes dud at boxoffice blame SRK. wow amazing
    no theatre distributor is idiot enough to keep their theatres empty by screening a dud useless movie. when they can actually go with the flow and earn CRORES with Chennai express going strong at the box office

  • What a fool she was to postpone her film. But even if she had not, OUATIMD wasnt a well made film.

    I mean indian people are idiots or what to watch dawood ibrahim’s love story during independence day period.

  • @tina. lol. can’t stop laughing after seeing Ur comments. can’t u read the full thing and than comment.
    the theatre owners and distributors have clearly mentioned that showing any film is completely their discretion. what happened on the second day for OUTIMD. with nearly 2786 screens what did they do on second day and again on Sunday. ya view just put pickles with . lol
    stop giving excuses.
    irrespective off all Ur negativity SRKs Chennai express is earning hunky dory at the box office. what else excuse people like u can given
    make a good movie first. and than blame others. having a negative wom. that wasn’t distributed by red chilies.
    how many ever screens u have. its people which make a film hit or disaster. outimd is a disaster.
    so stop blaming on partly reasons like u just did.

  • Feeling extremely sorry for ouatimd. .:(
    really postponement became a bad sign for ouatimd.
    But why srk was avoiding ekta’s call? ?

    Though i am happy for ce success.

  • srk will hav to pay for this in future such selfish person….how arrogant not to answer jittuji calls? My respect for ajayD gone notch higher todayy who is brave to take on srk&yrf……SRK never gets respect from rivals….

  • my clear question to all is. even with 2600 to 2700 screens what did outimd do. collections was less than Chennai express with around 1300 screens. lol.
    its the people who decide whose the king. its not the number of screens. thought ekta should no that. lol
    crap balaji productions

  • Poor SRK! Always there’s a controversy when his movie releases. Last time SRK vs Ajay. This time SRK vs Ekta. Hope Akshay doesn’t come into the scene.

  • heart breaking news
    OUTIMD has done a record shattering week at overseas boxoffice with huge very huge 3 CRORES. lol. and people want to give reasons for its failure.
    2700 screens on Sunday and collecting 9 CRORES and blame SRK.
    shame to bollywood.

  • Excuses will be excuses.. Whether its true or false..
    but a film with good content and that too a Akshay Kumar Starrer can’t just fail at all with even lac of screens… (Film was also promoted hugely)
    The fallout is just unfortunate..

  • To all indicine readers..
    Let me clear one imp point to all of u..
    Bollywood industry is d only industry where bribes dont work..
    No one in d industry whether it is amitabh..
    Or salman dat can give money to all the movie going people to watch their films..and make it a super hit or bb..
    What I m trying to say is dat it is not possible to give bribes to the audiences to watch their movies..
    It is d people who makes their film hit and bb respectively by watching their fav stars movies..
    Whatever d reason is for d debacle of ouatim2 is but it is clear from its performance dat people were not in a mood to watch dat movie..
    May be they didnt like the concept of dawood (don) running and dancing along wid heroines and all such stupid potrayed in d movie..
    It was not srk dat told d people not to watch ekta’s ouatim2..
    It was solely the movie going people that dey did not wanted to spend their hard earned money on ouatim2. .which they didnt find attractive and appealing..
    And on d vice versa..
    It was nt srk who gave bribes to d people to watch his movie ce..
    Looking at d result it is clear and proven dat people had already made their choices to which movie they wanted to watch on d ocassion of eid or independence day..
    So dont blame srk or utv for d failure of ouatim..
    And by d way..
    Congrats to all srkians..
    For d success of ce..

  • Hahahahahaha ekta kapoor refuse to screen her movie oh itni badi incsult hahahaha…and now who tell him king dusron ke sahare record banata hai fake fake fake actor.

  • “If UTV had lived up to its promise, OUATIMD could have raked in about Rs 10 crore more on its opening day which in turn might have had a Domino effect on its subsequent collections.”

    Yes, it would have been more people to spread the bad WOM and been an even bigger drop on subsequent days!

  • lolzzzzzzzz theatre owners were forced haha what a joke….. ekta trying to force audience into the theatres. another flop buster by akki lolzzz. yaar akki got good fan base if movie was good when it had screens increased why audience did not double as she was claiming thursday was paid preview stop fooling people. movie is not sustaining numbers. well i hope some sense prevail in bollywood and biggies should give 2 weeks gap before release. srk and ekta issue who knows guys its personal issue we just audience can only watch such outside dramas.

  • Srk is so desperate to break a 4yr old record that he has to use betrayal and dishonesty to achieve his motives

    height of desperation

    king khan is over

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