Superstar Shah Rukh Khan says the issue over the allotment of screens for the release of Ekta Kapoor’s Once Upon Ay Time In Mumbai Dobaara is a little unfounded as Chennai Express producers UTV did make way for Balaji’s request.
Ekta’s mother Shobha Kapoor,who released Akshay Kumar starrer Once Upon… a week later on August 15,had expressed disappointment with UTV over the sharing of screens.
Shah Rukh Khan said the commitment from the producers UTV was well clarified with the makers of Once Upon… and he was not involved in any discussion.
“We had booked single screen theatres for two weeks. A desire came from there (Balaji) that look we are coming on August 15 and can you give us some theatres. I don’t do the business,they (UTV) said we will give you 40 to 50 per cent (screen space) which we did,” Shah Rukh told PTI.
“Our film was earlier supposed to release on Thursday,it then got shifted to Friday,a week means seven days and everyone has the right to run their film for seven days. So seven days got over and we gave them the theatres on Friday. If there is an issue or complaint about this,I think it is little unfounded,” he said.
The makers of Once Upon… had pushed the release date of their film to August 15 to avoid a clash with Chennai Express at SRK’s request.
There were media reports that Ekta was assured by the production house that they will withdraw their film on August 15 to make way for OUATIMD in at least 2,000 halls across the country.
“I think sometimes when you talk about the business part then you start taking my name because I stand for the business part of Red Chillies or I am the face of this film. I don’t think there is any reason,as far as UTV is concerned,to have an issue with Balaji. As far as I am concerned I was not part of the business,” Shah Rukh said.
Last year,Ajay Devgn and Yash Raj Films also had a similar issue over the number of screens alloted for the release of Son of Sardaar and late Yash Chopra’s Jab Tak Hai Jaan.
Ajay had alleged that YRF used its dominant position following which his movie (Son of Sardaar) was unable to find enough single screen theatres for exhibition.
Recollecting the matter,Shah Rukh said,”Yashji had expired and Son of Sardaar was coming,Ajay is a friend… I could have gone and requested him that out of respect do it (change the release date). But I did not.
“Everybody has the right to release the film as and when they wish to. I don’t think this ‘OUATIMD’ was a small film,I don’t think it was backed by small producers. They had the right to release it when they wanted. If they wanted to release it on August 8,God bless them and if they wanted to release it on August 15,their decision,” he said.
When asked if what the makers of ‘OUATIMD’ were doing was unfair,the actor said,”No,not at all,you have a platform to say what you have to. They might be feeling it that way.”
Shah Rukh is happy with the response his film is garnering at the box office.
“I knew it was a holiday period. I think every film that comes around this time will have a little benefit of Eid,Independence day or Raksha Bandhan. We were little anxious but we knew we had a good product. But we had not expected this kind of love and acceptance,” he said.
“This level of acceptance… it happens magically. We can’t calculate such things in advance. We did not know Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge will be loved for 18 years. Kajol,Adi and me did not know that it will do so well,” he said.
Shah Rukh says he never keeps a tab on box office collection but with the kind of response Rohit Shetty directed Chennai Express is garnering it is becoming unavoidable for him to not pay attention to the figures.
The ‘King Khan’ is happy that even his children Aryan and Suhana have loved the film.
“I never talk acting or films at home,neither they do. So when they start liking something it feels really great. I feel very proud when they like my work. My son saw the film Chennai Express with 40 of his friends and they all liked it. Normally,my kids don’t discuss or talk about my films at home but this film they discussed a lot and I am thrilled they did it,” he added.