MUMBAI: With the record-breaking success of UTV and Red Chillies Entertainment’s ‘Chennai Express’, Ekta Kapoor and Balaji Motion Pictures seem to be in a quandary over the release of their upcoming gangster flick ‘Once Upon A Time In Mumbaai Dobara’.
Kapoor, who had graciously accomodated Rohit Shetty’s ‘Chennai Express’ by postponing the release of ‘Once Upon A Time In Mumbaai Dobara’ by a week, may be rethinking her strategy at the moment. The runaway success of the SRK-Deepika starrer has put ‘Once Upon A Time In Mumbaai Dobara’ in a fix, for the film may not be able to get enough shows to compete with its bete noir.
Release deals with theatres are made for a week, and with ‘Chennai Express’ completing a week on 15 August exactly (the day that ‘OUTIMD’ will release), ‘Once Upon A Time In Mumbaai Dobara’ stands to lose out on single screens and multiplexes count to the former.
A leading distributor explained the situation: “There is a lot of chaos. Most multiplexes are caught in this dilemma of choosing between ‘Chennai Express’ and ‘OUATIMD’ for August 15. Both are big-ticket ventures and if Disney UTV doesn’t compromise for August 15, one may see the opening-day collections of the Akshay Kumar-starrer drop below expectations.”
However, Monday and Tuesday will be crucial days in this box office tussle. In case collections of ‘Chennai Express’ dip on Monday, theatres may choose to give a wider release to ‘Once Upon A Time In Mumbaai Dobara’. Single screens decide on the number of screens given to each film based on box office collections.
Stated film distributor Rajesh Thadani, “Had there been no opposition from ‘Chennai Express’, ‘OUATIMD’ would have eventually had bigger collections. But the SRK starrer has already proven itself. A lot depends on Monday and Tuesday’s collection.”
This sentiment was echoed by Sanjay Ghai, a leading distributor exhibitor from Delhi and Punjab. “The logic is very simple. Two trains cannot run on the same track. Had ‘Chennai Express’ been disliked by the masses, the downfall would have reflected on Saturday itself and if it continues to do well, single screens will prefer it over ‘Once Upon A Time in Mumbai Dobara’.”
Balaji Motion Pictures CEO, Mr. Tanuj Garg remained unavailable for comment.
‘Chennai Express’ is reportedly the widest Bollywood release till date, securing its position in over approximately 1000 single screens and 3700 screens totally.