Shah Rukh Khan's JTHJ to clash with Son of Sardaar this Diwali!

By Hindustan Times

Ever since filmmaker Yash Chopra passed away (on October 21), there have been talks of whether Ajay Devgn should postpone his co-production, Son Of Sardaar (SOS). But as it stands, both films will now release on the Diwali weekend, on November 13.

When asked about it, Shah Rukh Khan, the lead actor of Jab Tak Hai Jaan (JTHJ), feels it is “unfair” to ask anyone to reschedule his/her film. “Yashji would have wished that the other film should also do well. Everyone puts in the same amount of hard work and love in their films. It is business at the end of day,” says SRK.

We asked trade analysts what the clash of two big films on Diwali means. And they said that each of the films is likely to eat into the other’s business by 30-35 per cent.

“Whenever two big films come together, they hurt the other’s business in some way. But honestly, at this point, JTHJ has an upper hand after Yashji’s death. Earlier, they were neck-to-neck, but now, there’s an emotional element to Yashji’s film,” says trade analyst Taran Adarsh.

On the other hand, trade expert Komal Nahta says he doesn’t see why SOS should push its date. “Work and personal
relationships are two different things. JTHJ will definitely get sympathy, but I don’t think SOS has to push its date because of that. Both films are ready for release, and it’s a fair fight at the box-office.”

A section of trade also says that it’s unfair to put the responsibility squarely on Ajay. “He isn’t the only one involved with the film. Corporates like Viacom 18 and Eros are also partners. It’s not as if Ajay is the sole decision maker. Also, Diwali has been lucky for both Ajay (Golmaal Returns in 2008, All The Best in 2009 and Golmaal 3 in 2010) and SRK (Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge in 1995, Kuch Kuch Hota Hai in 1998, Veer Zaara in 2004, Don in 2006 and Om Shanti Om in 2007),” adds Adarsh.

Vinod Mirani, another trade expert, says, “SOS is a mass entertainer. And since it’s a Diwali opening, there will be an audience for it too.”

Jab Tak Hai Jaan
Budget: Rs. 50 crore
Number of screens booked: Around 2,500
Promotional strategy: Except launching a couple of songs and the press conference, JTHJ’s promotions have been quiet. But we hear that some big plans are in place for the next 15 days. A huge premiere is being planned on November 12. Also, now SRK, Katrina Kaif and Anushka Sharma are making appearances together. SRK and Katrina shot for a special KBC episode. The team might also visit the reality show Sa Re Ga Ma Pa. In the coming days, a JTHJ special ad featuring SRK and Katrina is also being planned.
Buzz so far: Being Yash Chopra’s last directorial and SRK’s comeback to romance, there’s a lot of interest about the film.

*Budget and screen numbers based on trade estimates

Son of Sardaar
Budget: Rs. 30 crore
Number of screens booked: Around 1,700
Promotional strategy: Ajay Devgn has gone all out for the film. He and Sonakshi sung the national anthem at the Delhi F1 race, shot for a special Diwali programme (for Star) and appeared on reality shows (KBC and Bigg Boss). In addition to a YouTube campaign, it has also generated some buzz on Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus.
Buzz so far: For an item song, ‘Po po’, Ajay roped in Salman Khan. The music is fast gaining popularity.

Diwali clashes in the last five years
2011: RA.One, Tell Me O Kkhuda and Damadamm
Only RA.One worked moderately well.
2010: Golmaal 3 and Action Replayy
Golmaal 3 was the bigger hit.
2009: All The Best, Main Aur Mrs Khanna and Blue
Only All The Best made any profit.
2008: Fashion, Golmaal Returns, Roadside Romeo and Heroes
Only the first two did well.
2007: Saawariya and Om Shanti Om (OSO)
OSO was the clear winner.

— With inputs from Shalvi Mangaokar

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