Shah Rukh Khan Just Averted A Box Office Clash With Akshay Kumar

In case you didn’t notice, not only does Shah Rukh Khan’s new film with Anushka Sharma have a title (at last), it also has a new release date. Jab Harry Met Sejal – that’s what the film is called, after much misdirection with the working title The Ring and tentative name Rehnuma – will now open on August 4, a week earlier than planned. Bollywood’s trade insiders and film exhibitors just exhaled in relief because the rescheduling of SRK’s film has averted a big clash with Akshay Kumar’s Toilet – Ek Prem Katha. Both the films, Jab Harry Met Sejal and Toilet – Ek Prem Katha, were scheduled to release on August 11 to cash in on the long Independence Day weekend. With this adroit manoeuvre, SRK’s film gets both a solo release and a long weekend, which is the Raksha Bandhan weekend, to itself.

If these two superstars, Shah Rukh Khan and Akshay Kumar, had released their films on the same day, the fear was that they would eat into each other’s business by cannibalising screens and market share.

taran adarsh ✔ @taran_adarsh
When biggies clash, it benefits no one: Screens, shows, footfalls, eventually biz gets divided… Bitterness amongst fans erupts as well…
9:20 AM – 9 Jun 2017
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taran adarsh ✔ @taran_adarsh
It’s wise to set aside your ego and think from the business point of view… With careers + crores at stake, why ruin efforts with a clash?
9:21 AM – 9 Jun 2017
256 256 Retweets 884 884 likes

This quiet rebooking of a Shah Rukh Khan film is somewhat out of character. His last film Raees nearly clashed with Salman Khan’s Sultan and eventually did collide with Hrithik Roshan’s Kaabil – in the first instance, Raees was noisily postponed to avoid meeting Sultan at the box office; in the second, it appeared to actively seek out a box office showdown with Kaabil, even bringing forward its date by a day to match Hrithik’s film.

Jab Harry Met Sejal, which stars Shah Rukh Khan and Anushka Sharma and has been filmed in Europe and Punjab, is directed by Imtiaz Ali. Going by the buzz it’s generated from the first poster, which released today, this one seems to be on the right track. This will be SRK and Anushka’s third film together after Jab Tak Hai Jaan (2012) and Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi (2008).

Akshay Kumar, one of the most bankable stars at the box-office, had a film out last Independence Day weekend as well – Rustom, which clashed with Hrithik Roshan’s Mohenjo Daro, won him the National Award for Best Actor. He continues to pick unusual subjects like Toilet – Ek Prem Katha. This satirical comedy is directed by Shree Narayan Singh and it also stars Bhumi Pednekar. It’s a love story weaved around the problems of open defecation in public areas. Last month, Akshay Kumar even met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and told him about this film, which is on the lines of the government’s Swachh Bharat Abhiyan.

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