B-Town has witnessed two big Friday clashes. First was when Ajay Devgn-starrer Son Of Sardar clashed with Shah Rukh Khan-starrer Jab Tak Hai Jaan on Diwali 2012. The second was when Akshay Kumar’s Once Upon A Time In Mumbai Dobaara locked horns with SRK’s Chennai Express during Eid 2013.
Accusations of monopoly, court cases, ego hassles and bitterness followed in the wake of these tussles at the box-office.
You would have thought that Ajay and Akshay, both actors known to take rational decisions, would ensure they would never again have a tug of war over films on the same Friday. But that doesn’t seem to be the case.
It is learnt that next year four biggies are expected to clash on August 15, 2014. One of them is Gabbar, starring Khiladi Kumar, while the other is Devgn’s Singham 2. The other two films are Saif Ali Khan-Katrina Kaif’s starrer directed by Kabir Khan and the fourth being Ekta Kapoor and Karan Johar’s Badtameez Dil.
Says an industry insider, “Both Ajay and Akshay have faced the brunt of a clash and would like to avoid being in such a situation again. But it’s not really their choice as the dates are decided by the studios or producers.” A source close to Akshay says, “He wasn’t aware of the clash. He believes that the film industry is like a family and we should all work together. He will speak to the producer and try and sort out the date issue, just like he had done with Ekta during OUATIMD. Strangely, producers Shabina Khan and Sanjay Leela Bhansali are also producing Devgn’s next film, so it is in everyone’s best interest.”
Trade analyst Taran Adarsh says, “Any kind of a clash is not good.
A Bollywood film can clash with a Hollywood film but Hindi film clash always has a negative impact on the box office collections.
Even if it’s a holiday, the common man doesn’t have the time, the will to spend his hard-earned money and inclination to watch three big films on one day, so the audiences get divided.” He feels it is also a bad decision as the screen space gets divided. “The producers fight for the best shows and number of screens as it happened on Eid this year. A lot of bitterness amongst the film fraternity and the stars takes place when biggies clash like with JTHJ and SOS last year and when Chennai Express and OUATIMD released on Eid this year. Both Akshay and Ajay faced it with their respective films and I am sure they wouldn’t want to go through it again. Why create that bitterness when we have so many days in a year? But it’s totally the studios and producers’ call these days. An actor can only request, but it is not his/her call.
Studios do what they feel is right for their film. I am shocked at the way studios and producers are blocking the available dates (holidays) like Hollywood studios block dates. It’s wrong as we are only fighting with ourselves. As far as Gabbar vs Singham 2 are concerned, no doubt Gabbar is a very big brand combo of Akshay, Sanjay Leela Bhansali and Shabina Khan after Rowdy Rathore but Singham 2 is also a giant brand as it has Rohit Shetty (after the blockbuster Chennai Express) and Ajay together after Bol Bachchan!”
This will be their third BO clash after All The Best and Blue in 2009 and Golmaal 3 and Action Replayy in 2010. Both the movies featuring Ajay were directed by Rohit Shetty.