The now much delayed Raees, was pushed ahead several times from its original release date last year to avert clashes and for other reasons. And now the Shah Rukh Khan starrer, in a much debated move, is all set to clash with the Hrithik Roshan starrer Kaabil, on Jan 26, 2017. While the Roshans have been very upset about the same, as they had announced their release date first, this move will be damaging for the businesses of both Raees and Kaabil at the box office. However, while Shah Rukh Khan and team are battling the Raees situation, they have gone ahead this time against yet another biggie for their next film.
Just last night, Shah Rukh Khan was enthralled when he received the support of co-superstar Salman Khan who announced the release date of SRK’s film with Imtiaz Ali. The film that also stars Anushka Sharma in the lead is slated to release on August 11, 2017. However, soon we realized that this film has fuelled up yet another box office clash and this time it is with none other than Akshay Kumar. Soon after the release of Rustom, readers may be aware, that Neeraj Pandey announced his next collaboration with Akshay Kumar Crack which is scheduled as an Independence Day release.
But this is not the first time that Shah Rukh Khan and Akshay Kumar will battle it out at the box office. Though their movies have clashed a few times in the past, during the last one particularly, things got really bitter. Let’s rewind back a couple of years when an Akshay Kumar and Shah Rukh Khan clash was averted in the year 2013 when the duo had major films like Balaji’s Once Upon Ay Time In Mumbai Dobaara and UTV’s Chennai Express scheduled to release together for Eid. As both the releases on the same day meant suicidal for the business of the both the films, SRK and UTV chief Siddharth Roy Kapur brokered a deal with Balaji chief Jeetendra wherein it was mutually decided that Chennai Express will get the Eid release and after a week when Once Upon Ay Time In Mumbai Dobaara releases, UTV will let of a substantial number of screens so that both the films do good business. However, in a twist of events, UTV and Red Chillies didn’t free the screens for Balaji was decided and Akshay’s movie suffered big time at the box-office. Reportedly, Akshay Kumar was very upset with the whole situation. Ekta Kapoor on the other hand was quite vocal about being betrayed.
With the past experience being fairly recent, it is unlikely that Akshay Kumar was make any such compromises this time. Besides, the star is currently in the best phase of his career with all his films being back to back hits at the box-office. It is also his new found creative partnership with the talented Neeraj Pandey which is the talk of the town. Akshay Kumar and Neeraj Pandey have given some commercially and critically acclaimed films like Special 26, Baby and the recent (Neeraj’s production) Rustom. Also, after the success of MS Dhoni: The Untold Story, Neeraj has become a bankable name in Bollywood. So when Akshay and Neeraj announced their next collaboration Crack, there were fireworks as expected. There’s already huge anticipation for the film within the industry and the fans.
On the other hand, Shah Rukh Khan has been going through a bad phase at the box-office with back to back disasters. Last year, even a Shah Rukh – Kajol pair in Dilwale couldn’t withstand the strong competition of the Ranveer Singh, Deepika Padukone and Priyanka Chopra starrer Bajirao Mastani. This was soon followed by Yash Raj Films Fan, which too failed miserably. Now all eyes are set on the Raees – Kaabil clash which is set to happen early next year and the verdict is eagerly awaited. The success of Raees is very crucial for brand SRK. Looking at the filmography of Imtiaz Ali, the director though highly talented, himself has been having a tough time at the box-office. His last film Tamasha was a big non-starter at the box-office despite big names like Ranbir Kapoor and Deepika Padukone being attached. So, Imtiaz too is carrying a huge baggage of delivering a bonafide box-office hit, something that he might also want with the Shah Rukh Khan starrer. However, with Akshay and Neeraj’s Crack on the other side, its not going to come that easily despite the Independence Day holiday.
In a nutshell, despite his huge superstardom, there is extreme pressure on Shah Rukh Khan to deliver at the box-office with his contemporaries moving ahead in the race. Besides, due to limited number of holidays, most of his upcoming release and going in for head on clashes with pre-announced films but other superstars. Though it can’t be denied that he will be ruffling a few feathers in this process, Shah Rukh Khan will have to battle and deliver by against some of the biggest Bollywood superstars with each of his upcoming releases next year.
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