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.



  • Queen of Drama Ekta Kapoor…like her TV serials saas-bahu character…ekta life is not like ur tv serials ok….stop blaming international superstar SRK n u stay where u belongs….dont ever think u can compete with mighty SRK…

  • No need to be super excited. It is just matter of few months or max 1 year when CE will loose all records. With dirty n cheap politics to get solo Eid release with 40% hike in tickets any big star movie wud have achieved it !!!!

  • Now srk will have to face the brunt of the film industry…. He deserves it…. This has been going on for a longest of time…. Srk always resorts to these type of unethical dirty politics…. Sooner or later he will have to face the wrath of the film industry…. This does not augurs well for him…. The film industry must have taken notice of his regular dirty politics…. He is renowned for his backstabbing…. I cant help but feel srk’s downfall is around the corner

  • Some of you’ll really don’t have brains to think logically. You base the judgement of your decision on what you read, of which you don’t even understand a quarter. Indicine should establish a website in pure Hindi/Urdu, because from the looks of it, most of you’ll don’t seem to be getting English, or you’re simply assholes.

  • i knew it loolz what happened if ekta and Balaji refuse the request from SRk?

    iam damn sure we saw the batlle on 15/8/03 but sorry for ekta
    you know ajey was right for his decision last year Son of sardar lolz

  • This is how srk has reached at the top …..cheating,false promises…backstabbing,betraying…he’s master of sorts in this game… he must remember one thng …what goes around comes around… it is someone else tomorow it could be u…beware..

  • Actually i was abit suprised when i knew that the acting of Akshya Kumar in OUATIMD was praised my the Hollywood Actor of GodFather.
    When i watched that movie I just find out only and only Kumar doing his best to lift the movie. The script were really very poor. It would have been great if the language was urdu. The great don is running after the lady for nothing. There are such movie in bollywood. Don in love is old misty love story.
    And there are some useless song track which doesnt makes any sense.
    Yap it some how could be true about the Article but i just know one thing that Miss Ekata Kapoor is like Duryodhan of the Mahabharat who does every thing awakwardly.

    And if yu are farmer and the maize plant gives you fruit even if its season is over, will yu then cut that maize and throw away. Obviously not.
    Same case occured with SRK’s team. His movie was running well so didnt give away screens thats it.

    And may i remind that the ambitious project on bollywood have never been a blockbuster.
    SRK’s and Ashoka
    Aamir’s Mangal pandey
    Salman’s Veer
    Hitrik’s Kites
    Sajid Khan’s Himmatwala.

    So it has always been clear that the to be winner in bollywood yu shud be winner of your luck too.

  • Get lost all SRK haters… when people cant reach success they start commenting on others success. SRK is the king of Bollywood.

  • From a die hard SRK fan.

    Dear Ekta Kapoor

    It’s not Srk’s fault that you did not buyspace for Ouatimd advertising in IPL and camera did not turn to Akshay kumar because it was busy with cricket.

    Its not Srk’s fault that Akshay washed hishands off the promotion of Ouatimd few days before its release after he realized it was not worth his time anymore.

    Its not Srk’s fault that you did not talk to distributors in advance about booking maximum screens for Ouatimd during Eid and had to delay its release.

    It’s not Srk’s fault that Ouatimd had terrible script and story because he was not part of your crew.

    It’s not Srk’s fault that you chose Akshay over Devgn for the sequel where previous actors were actually needed and not new ones.

    It’s not Srk’s fault that Imran was not compatible with the concept of Ouatimd.

    It’s not Srk’s fault that you increased the budget of Ouatimd by buying prime time slots for its trailers in crores.

    It’s not Srk’s fault that Raj Thakrey finally thought to honor ethics and ended up showing support for Chennai Express after your father told him to sabotage its business.

    Its not Srk’s fault that you gained bad karma in the form of flop with your cunning idea to promote Ouatimd by insulting Srk’s late dad on your official Ouatimd fan page

    From me..

    Guys relex . Let the dogs bark out their frustration. This whole drama is the new marketing strategy of the drama queen ekta. Just ignore it and enjoy the CE success.

  • I’d have had sympathy for her if she had been fair. She used MNS to get back at CE? How honest is she herself then?
    If OUATIMD was accepted by audience then it would be a success like SOS was last year and exhibitors would give screens to it also.

    OUATIMD did not have successful music like OUATIM. And that flop Imran Khan was a miscast in it.
    They wasted talent of Akshay Kumar in this by making him a lovestruck Don. If it was a gritty film with good music and all round better cast, then it would have made a place for itself.

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