Shahrukh Khan is anguished that an unnecessary controversy has been created around the release of his film JAB TAK HAI JAAN, the swan song of the late Yash Chopra. He said this in an intimate pow-wow with the media at Yash Raj Studios. He is a staunch believer in 'free-markets'. He also feels that exhibitors know their film audiences better. It's they who choose what films to pick for a release and prefer to show films they think will appeal to their audience.
King Khan obviously meant that the unusually large number of single-screen exhibitors who had signed up for JAB TAK HAI JAAN believed that the film was a better business proposition compared with the other Diwali release SON OF SARDAAR. He also in a way denied the allegation that Yash Raj Films had arm-twisted exhibitors to screen JAB TAK HAI JAAN. He said that there was nothing new in two big films releasing during Diwali and he would wish both of them to do well at box office.
Bollywood Baadshah also talked at length about his faith in free markets and how it works in the film industry. He said that even the star system is market driven. A star is in demand because he or she is popular and there is a market for his/her films. If a star delivers bad films, he/she pays a price for that and loses stardom. He further said that he always tried to be different in his films and had done varied roles. Films help him connect with people and that's why only thing he cares for is his audience. Nothing else matters. He does not do a film for money alone. He has enough of that by God's grace. He would not like to disappoint his audience and if people still love and like him after 20 years, it's probably because they continue to have faith in him and appreciate his sincere efforts.
(Rajesh Kumar Singh is Editorial Consultant for Festivals and Markets for BollywoodTrade.com. He is a filmmaker, critic and market analyst)