Post Ghajini and RNBDJ, pressure builds on Akshay Kumar

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By Joginder Tuteja, Bollywood Hungama News Network

Till the release of Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi, all eyes were set on Shah Rukh Khan and Akshay Kumar competing for the top spot. While Akshay already had Singh Is Kinng behind him, Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi was important for Shah Rukh Khan to maintain his numero uno position. If only Rab Ne...wouldn't have turned out to be the big hit as it is today, Akshay Kumar would certainly have placed himself firmly on the throne that has been occupied by Shah Rukh Khan for more than a decade now.

However, Rab Ne...worked quite well eventually and though it's opening fell a little short of Singh Is Kinng, it wasn't a worrying sign for Shah Rukh Khan since the world was aware about the odds against the film's release. Also, the film did particularly well in its second week and was liked more than Singh Is Kinng, something that ensured that both Shah Rukh Khan and Akshay Kumar ended the year on a smiling note with the former being just a tad ahead.

For Akshay Kumar, Chandni Chowk To China was now an important release since he had to keep himself well into the contention for being a tough competitor of Shah Rukh Khan. The task was cut out. His film had to take a better opening than Rab Ne... and also at least match, if not cross, the opening of Singh Is Kinng. Seemed quite possible since Warner Bros. have promised a mega release for the film (in fact the biggest ever) and hence a massive opening is pretty much on the card.

However, the situation has changed post the release of Ghajini. Suddenly a monster that goes by the name of Aamir Khan has emerged and an opening which is expected to be more than Rs. 60 crores at the least is very much in the offering (exact collections would be released soon). Now Akshay and his Chandni Chowk To China have a much bigger challenge in hands i.e. to at least match the opening of Ghajini or at least come close to it.

Frankly, looking at the film's release being just a fortnight away, this seems difficult since the people behind the film have to up the ante when it comes to the marketing of Chandni Chowk To China. While conventional way of promoting the film has been pretty much happening, the uniqueness that Aamir Khan brought with his Ghajini is yet to be experienced. Add to that the entire pressure of bringing a far greater number of audience into theaters within a month when majority of them have shelled out a substantial amount of their earnings into two films - Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi and Ghajini - and it can be clearly said that Akshay and company have a task in hand.

Fingers crossed and here is looking at some great marketing and promotion in the offering that should make Chandni Chowk To China a third straight money spinner to continue celebrations in Bollywood!

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