With Anurag Kashyap announcing November 28 as the release date of Bombay Velvet and Rajkumar Hirani’s PK slated for a December 19 release, everyone — most importantly the exhibitors and distributors — can heave a sigh of relief. While the prospect of Aamir Khan battling it out with Ranbir Kapoor for box office supremacy on the same date sounds exciting for us, it can be a matter of a few crores for the producers bankrolling these films. It’s advisable to have some breathing space between two big-ticket films.
Every superstar has his turf. If Salman Khan has Eid then Shah Rukh Khan owns Diwali and Aamir Khan blocks Christmas. It has been reported that Aamir is becoming increasingly enamoured with the X’mas weekend after the super success of Ghajini, Taare Zameen Par, 3 Idiots and Dhoom 3 and it’s on his insistence that PK has been pushed even though the film will be ready by July. In B-town nobody wants to fix what ain’t broke. With Aamir not willing to share his X’mas pie, Ranbir, a legit New Gen Superstar after the smash success of Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani, needed to find a new landing date. Enter the Thanksgiving weekend. This is a new one for B-town, which has traditionally not been big on Thanksgiving but if Bombay Velvet clicks, a new weekend space will be created.
The B-town calendar is quite busy for the rest of the year. The big boys have marked their territories well in advance. Salman Khan’s Kick will keep its Eid date on July 27. SRK’s Happy New Year will be a Diwali release while Ajay Devgn has booked the Independence Day weekend for Singham 2. There is a chance of a clash brewing between Hrithik Roshan’s Bang Bang and Saif Ali Khan’s Phantom, but the trade insists that Hrithik will not let go of the October 2-Gandhi Jayanti slot. With film business increasingly becoming all about the opening weekend, no producer wants to take a chance. But this is a business of uncertainty. For all the manoeuvres, strategies and manipulations concerning release dates and promotions, ultimately it all comes down to the film. Only the good ones survive. For all the hype and the fight, let’s hope that the films are good.