Mumbai, Nov. 29 -- This year, he's had his share of reality television, of telling off bickering contestants and of Twitter rebuttals when fans blamed him of partiality. But make no mistake, Salman Khan the movie star is still a massive box-office draw, especially since he hasn't had a film out in 2013.
He's just wrapped up the shoot for his next, brother Sohail Khan's Jai Ho, and the film is scheduled to release on January 24, 2014. The first look or the teaser isn't out yet. Which means - by Bollywood pre-release promotion norms - the film is running late. Will that affect its fortunes, we ask trade. Not when you're talking about a Salman Khan film, they say.
Trade analyst Taran Adarsh says, "Usually, a bigbudget film's first look comes out at least two-and-a-half months prior to release. Then, depending upon its readiness, the promos are released. Yes, they (the makers of Jai Ho) are behind schedule, but they will manage."
What are the makers banking on? Film exhibitor and distributor Akshaye Rathi says, "If the movie has a star like Salman, the makers don't need to promote it. Though they are late, they will go hammer and tongs with songs and promos in the time they have in hand. Besides, the makers are banking upon the return of Salman."
According to trade, the movie is already being seen as hot commodity as it will mark Salman's first film after a gap of one year (his last movie, Dabangg 2, released in December 2012). Distributor Ashok Ahuja adds that "for a Salman film, even 10 days prior to release is a good enough period (to promote a film). The power he has is enough to pull crowds to the screens." An insider close to the project reveals that the trailer of the film may release on December 5. We tried contacting Sohail, but he remained unavailable for comment.