The pandemic prevented most theatrical releases for the major part of 2020, but this year as the theatres have reopened and audiences are gracing cinema halls, it has created another problem. One production house after the other is announcing release dates for its films in Telugu, Hindi and Tamil and this has inevitably resulted in several big-ticket box office clashes. This issue is more significant for the pan Indian films, given the massive scale at which they are being made.
The talk of the town today is the clash between Alia Bhatt-Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Gangubai Kathiawadi (based on a sex worker and pimp in the 1960s) and Prabhas, Pooja Hegde-starrer Radhe Shyam on July 30. Gangubai Kathiawadi will certainly have the edge in the Hindi market, but the truth of the matter is that both films are as diverse as chalk and cheese. Gangubai is a drama, while Radhe Shyam is a romance set across generations and both genres are bound to have their loyal audiences. However, that’s not all about the release clashes this year.
The first major release-date war erupted between the makers of Rajamouli’s RRR and Ajay Devgn’s Maidaan, who’ve both opted the third week of October for release. Both of them are not willing to budge about it. The stakes involved are high and the finger has been pointed towards RRR for announcing a release date much later than Maidaan, very well aware that there’s going to be a clash.
That’s not all. Kangana Ranaut’s multilingual biopic of Jayalalithaa is clashing with Saif Ali Khan, Rani Mukerjee-starrer Bunty Aur Babli 2 on April 23. Adivi Sesh’s magnum opus Major, based on the life of Major Unnikrishnan, releasing in Hindi and Telugu on July 2, incidentally, has to clash with another biopic of an army man Vikram Batra, Shershah featuring Siddharth Malhotra and Kiara Advani in key roles.
Yash’s biggie KGF 2 may have the upper hand in its tussle with Tiger Shroff-Tara Sutaria’s Heropanti 2 on July 16. The same may not hold for Allu Arjun’s Pushpa, directed by Sukumar, the actor’s first major release in the Hindi-speaking belt, which will have to fight it out with John Abraham’s actioner Attack on August 13.
Liger, marking Vijay Deverakonda’s foray into Hindi cinema, directed by Puri Jagannath is also releasing in all South-Indian languages on September 9. This has to lock horns with horror-comedy Bhoot Police, a much-anticipated horror-comedy whose cast includes Saif Ali Khan, Arjun Kapoor, Jacqueline Fernandez and Yami Gautam, who’ve announced their arrival for September 10.
In a few cases, producers may very likely have a word with each other about averting these clashes and arriving at a resolution. Yet, if that doesn’t work out, it would boil down to the command of the distributors in various regions across the country and of course, strong word of mouth of the content. It’s also possible that two films releasing on the same day may simultaneously do well.