Since clashes have never been pleasant in Bollywood (like BAJIRAO MASTANI V/S DILWALE or MOHENJO DARO V/S RUSTOM or RAEES V/S KAABIL) and it has grossly impacted the collections at BO of either parties, so as soon as it was known that the Deepika Padukone-Ranveer Singh starrer PADMAVATI (now PADMAVAT), after a prolonged controversy, is being rescheduled for release a day prior to Republic Day i.e. January 25, 2018 (a lucrative long weekend) alongside Akshay Kumar’s PADMAN, there have been speculations around the big clash.
PADMAVAT being Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s ambitious and most costly project, the industry began to speculate if it will give a tough competition to Akshay’s PADMAN, which has been planned for long time and which has already struggled for an appropriate release date. Perhaps, the magnum opus PADMAVATI may eat away PADMAN’s potential business because of the clash.
However, we believe that despite the clash of titans, Akshay Kumar’s PADMAN is safe and can manage to sail smoothly and here are our justifications for the same:
1) Though, the makers of PADMAVAT have gone ahead and will be finally releasing the film on January 25, 2018 after changing the title, yet the film will continue to face challenges all the way until its release. The Rajput Karni Sena leadership has declared that it will continue with its agitation and has threatened to burn down cinema halls showing PADMAVAT. So, despite its confirmation, the tension around the film’s release is still intact and it seems jinxed.
2) Even if the film releases, it is being hailed that PADMAVAT has been preemptively banned in Bihar, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Punjab, which makes recovery of its rumoured Rs 150-crore budget a steep task. Owing to its high budget, the makers & exhibitors may hike the price of the tickets to at least arrive at the breakeven point. And that may discourage the audience to shell out money and induced to watch PADMAN.
3) On the other hand, Akshay’s PADMAN has been made on a moderate budget of around Rs 25 – Rs 30 crore as per the reports. Further PADMAN has already been sold to Sony Pictures at Rs 50 crore, which means the film is already a profitable venture for the makers associated with it. So the clash with PADMAVAT won’t really affect its business.
4) Since PADMAN made announcement early and booked Republic weekend much in advance, so the number of screens has been already allotted for the film. Even the producer Prerna Arora in her recent report affirmed that, “We have made the announcement early and screen count has been decided by SPE the joint producers and distributors of PADMAN, the movie will reach its target audience”. Which implies that PADMAVAT will face stiff competition for screens from PADMAN as the release date was decided much late.
5) Another plus point for Akshay is that the superstar holds a successful track from last few years. He has delivered back-to-back hits like TOILET EK PREM KATHA, AIRLIFT, RUSTOM, JOLLY LLB 2, NAAM SHABANA, BABY, HOUSEFULL 3. He is currently the most bankable star of Bollywood. Moreover, Akshay’s track record with Republic period has been fruitful with most of his films like BABY, AIRLIFT receiving good response.
6) While PADMAVAT is a fictionalized historical drama, Akshay’s film is a socially relevant and message-driven films. Akshay’s PADMAN is a content-driven outing. While historical drama may appeal a select section, PADMAN caters to a larger section of audience as it highlights about sanitary hygiene
7) PADMAVAT has been reportedly cleared by CBFC with 300 cuts. It is being said that hat the makers have been asked to drop all references to Delhi, Chittor, and Mewar -- regions that add crucial context to the film\'s historical nature, which cuts down a major portion of the film thereby curtailing on the creativity.While CBFC has denied such reports.
8) Since PADMAVAT has been delayed and mired into controversy from day one, perhaps the film may have lost its sheen and excitement for patrons as the entire buzz is only around controversy. On the flip-side, the film may generate interest after a strong positive word of mouth.