Who Will Burst Crackers On Diwali – Aamir Khan Or Akshay Kumar?

This Diwali will witness the clash of Aamir Khan’s Secret Superstar and Akshay Kumar’s 2.0 at the box-office. Buzz in the trade has begun as to will emerge as the winner. SpotboyE.com got talking to experts who know tricks of the trade

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Who Will Burst Crackers On Diwali – Aamir Khan Or Akshay Kumar?
Come Diwali and history will be repeated when the country will witness the clash of the titans in all its glory. Apart from fireworks at the box-office, expect some fireworks within relationships too. Diwali this time will be a star-studded affair with Aamir Khan and the combined might of Rajinikanth and Akshay Kumar indulging each other in a combat to try veering viewers towards their shop. So what’s the mood in the exhibitors’ camp?

Well, for starters, the exhibitors are wary about the dent it will create in the profit margin. They are still hoping that some miracle happens and a clash is averted as both the films have the potential to earn them good revenue.

The clash this year is surprising considering the fact that 2.0 was also offered to Aamir Khan. Director Shankar had initially approached Shah Rukh Khan for the lead role and it was only after SRK said no to the film, the same script was given to Aamir Khan but eventually he too said no to the sci-fi flick.

robot second part poster featuring akshay and rajnikanth
Image Source: twitter/2point0movie

Nambi Rajan, owner of the famed Aurora Cinema in Matunga which has been functional since 1938 and is often in news during the release of a Rajinikanth film, echoes the general perception when he says that two big films releasing on the same day is not good for the industry and in such cases distributors are often cornered by exhibitors.

But Nambi minces no words and avoids any diplomatic stance. “It’s a big clash but of course I will go with Thalaivar. 2.0 is a much expected and anticipated movie with big production value. People will look for this and for me it’s Rajinikanth only,” says Nambi who simply can’t hide his excitement of Robot 2.0.

During Diwali, the trend has always been that two big films are always pitted against each other and this year too there is no exception. Initially, Ajay Devgn too had plans to join the party but director Rohit Shetty moved the release date.

golmaal four photoshoot with the latest star cast
Image Source: instagram/parineetichopra

Ajay was looking for close to 2600 screens for his film but the presenter of the film, Reliance, were unable to manage the required numbers during Diwali. Ajay’s previous two versions of Golmaal had hit theatres during Diwali and each time crossed the century at the box-office.

Needless to say, had there been three big-ticket films the dent in each other’s pie would have been bigger. Either the profit margin would have shrunk or the loss would have been substantial. Shailesh Kapoor of Ormax Media has a very different opinion on the Diwali clash. For him, it can’t be called a ‘clash’, as Aamir’s presence in Secret Superstar is just a small appearance.

“Clashes always impact the business, primarily because of distribution of screen space and audience attention. Secret Superstar is not an out-and-out Aamir Khan film, so it's not a clash of stars in its case,” says Shailesh Kapoor of Ormax Media.

a still from secret superstar movie featuring-aamir-khan
Image Source: youtube/zeestudios

What Shailesh says holds meat too. There is no reason why clashes happen or should happen. It doesn't happen in Hollywood, where the outflow of films is equally high. Some of the clashes have been a result of personality clashes. But from a business perspective, everyone knows it hurts both films, especially the film with weaker content.

Delhi is the second biggest territory in terms of moolah after Mumbai and thus the hawks of the business keep a close watch on any sort of development in this region. Sanjay Ghai, a seasoned veteran distributor and exhibitor from Delhi emphasizes on the fact that the game changer could be trade practices. The last time such a scenario was witnessed was when Shah Rukh Khan and Ajay Devgn locked horns with each other with Jab Tak Hai Jaan and Son of Sardaar. Ajay Devgn had accused the makers of Jab Tak Hai Jaan of coercing exhibitors and hijacking theatres. The deadlock was resolved only after the matter reached the Competition Commission of India (CCI).

“In the 90’s I had released Yaar Gaddar, Suhaag and Andaz Apna Apna together and they all were big ticket releases. All the films sailed through and nothing happened. There is an audience for every film but things will get dirty only if unfair trade practices are involved during the release of the films,” elaborates Ghai.

Though filmmakers try to encash on Diwali for reasons best known them but the truth is none of the blockbusters that India has witnessed were released during Diwali.  Dangal, Dhoom 3, Sultan, PK or Bajrangi Bhaijaan were films that never went after a Diwali release.

So the moot question is that despite knowing the fate of such big clashes, why is there such a rush? Manoj Desai, Executive Director of G7 Multiplex and Maratha Mandir cinema, comes up with an excellent explanation. “My picture will take over every other release is the thought and perception that ultimately brings their downfall. Jo mein mein karta hai who aakhri mein bakri ban jaata hai, aur yaha par maximum mein mein karte hai”, says Manoj.

Jainu Qazi, is in the distribution business since the ’70s and has seen the entire scenario changing. Based out of Baroda, the pain is evident in Jainu and is very vocal about the entire issue. “This is nothing, this is suicide bomb. It’s all about killing each other. It’s all about ego. Date pahle maine announce ki thi, ab mai peeche kyu hatu has now become the general norm. It’s eventually the distributor who is always at the receiving end. Had there been some understanding during the release of Raees and Kaabil, either the profit margin for both the films would have increased or the loss would have been bridged,” says Jainu.

Talking about ego, let’s not forget films like Jaan-E-Mann, Action Replayy, RA One, Blue, Mai Aur Mrs. Khanna, Saawariya, Kyon Ki... which released during Diwali and carried huge burden of expectations but were eventually throttled by their opponent.

So Is India ready to take the 'onslaught' of such big-ticket films in one go? “There will always be a first-choice film for audiences in a clash. But if both films are very good, which happens rarely (e.g. Gadar & Lagaan), audiences may eventually watch both,” Shailesh summarizes aptly.

Thumbnail Image Source: youtube/zeestudios & twitter/2point0movie
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