Box-offices clashes have mostly been unpleasant in Bollywood, ruining the long-standing equations, associations and best of the friendship as the famous song ‘Sab Ganda Hai Par Dhanda Hai Yeh’ (from COMPANY) states the practical scenario of B-town. Biggest besties have called it quits because of the ugly clash, fighting for a potential money-spinner Friday. While many superstars films’ have clashed at BO, but none took an ugly turn but Shah Rukh Khan’s films.
History has witnessed that most of the times when Shah Rukh Khan’s films have clashed with some other biggie; the result was a ruined equation & friendship. If one recalls when SRK’s JAB TAK HAI JAAN (2012) clashed with Ajay Devgn’s SON OF SARDAAR on the Diwali weekend, how it affected Kajol (being Ajay’s wife) & YRF’s scion Aditya Chopra’s relationship. Days before the release, makers of both films were involved in an unpleasant controversy. Ajay Devgn, who also produced SON OF SARDAAR, filed a complaint in the Competition Commission of India (CCI) alleging that YashRaj Films (the producers of JTJH) used its dominant position in the market to get maximum screens for the film. Rumour mills suggested that SRK’s production company acquired most of the screens leaving little for Eros (producers of SON OF SARDAAR) Ajay failed to get enough screens.
A decade ago, Bollywood faced an ugly showdown in 2007 at the BO as both SRK and Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s respective films OM SHANTI OM and SAAWARIYA, which were the launch pads of Deepika Padukone, Ranbir Kapoor & Sonam Kapoor respectively, chose Diwali for release. Things went further ugly when SRK in one of the interviews didn’t mince his words in saying that he will destroy the competition. On this SLB retorted that the actor had no right to ‘destroy the work of 150 people’ and with this relationship soured for years.
In the karmic cycle, SRK and Sanjay Leela Bhansali yet again had a face-off after 8 years, when their respective movies DILWALE and BAJIRAO MASTANI arrived on the same date. However, this time around SLB toppled SRK’s film at BO. Though there were enough speculations as to which film will be postponed, but none budged with their decision of arriving on the locked date (December 18, 2015) and went ahead with it. Shah Rukh Khan and Eros owner Kishore Lulla (who produced BAJIRAO MASTANI) even met regarding the release, but things didn’t materialize. In fact things took a turn for the worse in the run up to the release. There was a battle to acquire maximum screens. While SRK most of the time had upper hand over his opponents, he couldn’t salvage DILWALE from BAJIRAO’s stroke at BO.
While Hrithik and Shah Rukh had locked horns over the Republic Day weekend for months as their respective films KAABIL and RAEES were slated to release at the same time. Though initially Roshans and Mr. Khan with Ritesh Sidhwani & Farhan Akhtar, producers of RAEES met to arrive at amicable decision and SRK also requested Rakesh Roshan to push the release of KAABIL. But Rakesh was adamant, as according to him he had decided well in advance about KAABIL release, while RAEES was postponed as the makers & SRK didn’t want to clash with SULTAN, which arrived in Eid long back. While the news of clash didn’t strain their equation, but things took an ugly turn when it was revealed that instead of a 50-50 screen share, exhibitors have picked RAEES over KAABIL with 60-40 screen share. Further when KAABIL moved its date a day earlier i.e. January 25, 2017, SRK going on the same lines took an instant action by preponing RAEES at the same time and releasing alongside KAABIL.
Where clashing with Shah Rukh Khan has been distasteful either some controversy mired up or the film could not withstand SRK’s competition or the end result was a broken friendship, on the other side we have one superstar who showed with his deeds that clashes can be healthy too and if required don’t shy away from showing generosity. Well, well…we are referring to our ‘superhero’ Akshay Kumar.
Our Khiladi Kumar has always been cordial with his opponents, who have arrived on the same day. When his much touted RUSTOM and Hrithik Roshan’s MOHENJO DARO clashed at the BO on the holiday period i.e. August 15, 2016, there was no bad blood or rivalry between the two stars. Both the stars didn’t resort to grabbing-the-more-number-of-screens games nor did they make any remarks about each other or try to topple other one. In fact, as soon as the trailer of Akhshay Kumar's much-talked-about film RUSTOM was unveiled, Hrithik Roshan took to social networking site and heaped praises, at the same time Akshay also reciprocated the gesture and praised Hrithik for bringing on screen the era of Mohenjo Daro.
Besides, sometime back when the news was doing the rounds Akshay’s PAD MAN will clash with his dear friend Neeraj Pandey’s flick AIYAARY, he blatantly stated that both the films are different and there’s nothing like clash. The word clash is media created.
And now the superstar has set a new example in the history of ugly clashes. Well, he has showed that generosity and healthy competition is above anything else. Akki was the first to select January 25, 2018, an extended Republic weekend, for the release of his upcoming film PAD MAN. So, when PADMAAVAT, mired in controversy completely, postponed and chose January 25 as its new release date, Akki stayed calm about it and didn’t ruffle the environment. He was cool about the clash. And when Sanjay Leela Bhansali, director of jinxed PADMAAVAT, requested Akki to move ahead his film, the star seeing the suffering of PADMAAVAT team, decided to give up on the cream time of extended Republic weekend and postpone his film to February 9, 2018. Both SLB and Akshay came together with a joint press conference to announce about the new development and SLB couldn’t thank him enough
In fact the lead stars of the film Deepika Padukone, Ranveer Singh and Shahid Kapoor took to micro-blogging site and praised his gracious deed and sweet gesture. The PADMAAVAT team called him large-hearted as he turned a last minute savior in PADMAAVAT’s bad times.
As SLB said at the press conference that the whole fraternity is proud of what Akshay has done, we totally agree on it! Perhaps our superstars can take a lesson or two from Akshay with regards to clashes, as it’s not about mere cashing in on the holiday period, content is equally important. And when you have good content on hand, it hardly matters if your film is arriving on holiday period or not. So, Akshay’s confidence quite shows here!
Akki, you are indeed a 'superhero'!