Bol­ly­wood films to bat­tle it out in 2018

HT Cafe - - Front Page - Rishabh Suri rishabh.suri@htlive.com

Bol­ly­wood churns out hun­dreds of films ev­ery year, all vy­ing for the 52 Fri­days avail­able. So, there are bound to be clashes at the box of­fice. And the com­ing year is no dif­fer­ent.

Sid­harth Mal­ho­tra’s Aiyaary will take on Anushka Sharma’s Pari on Feb 9, and ac­tor Rani Muk­erji’s Hichki and John Abra­ham’s Par­manu will re­lease on Feb 23. March 2 will see a clash be­tween Drive and Hate Story 4. “A good film will grow re­gard­less of any Fri­day… You can’t avoid [a clash]. As an ac­tor, it’s be­yond my con­trol,” says Sid­harth.

As the year pro­gresses into fes­tive week­ends, the stakes get higher. Ex-lovers Aish­warya Rai Bachchan and Sal­man Khan’s films Fan­ney Khan and Race 3 re­spec­tively are set for an Eid re­lease — be­com­ing the lat­est an­nounce­ment. “It’s of­fi­cial... #Fan­neyKhan con­firmed for Eid 2018...” trade an­a­lyst Taran Adarsh tweeted on Fri­day.

But the baap of clashes in 2018 will be be­tween Aanand L Rai’s un­ti­tled film star­ring Shah Rukh Khan, Ro­hit Shetty’s re­make of Tem­per star­ring Ran­veer Singh and Sushant Singh Ra­jput and debu­tante Sara Ali Khan’s Kedar­nath on De­cem­ber 21. “Kedar­nath needs a long hol­i­day, and this will en­sure that it gets a clean run till Jan­uary. If it’s a good film, the au­di­ence will def­i­nitely come,” says pro­ducer Pr­ernaa Arora, whose films Pari, Par­manu, and yet-un­ti­tled thriller with Ir­rfan and Deepika Padukone are also lined up for 2018. “Even 2019’s dates are blocked,” adds Arora, ad­mit­ting that block­ing dates well in ad­vance is the new trend.

It’s clearly sur­vival of the fittest and about making sure you get enough amount of screens. That’s where the real is­sue lies, says trade ex­pert Atul Mo­han. “In­dia may be the largest pro­ducer of films in the world, but it still only has about 8,000 the­atres, whereas China has 30,000, and US some 40,000. We aren’t ready to ac­com­mo­date even two big films on the same day.” Re­mind him that ear­lier this year SRK’s Raees and Hrithik Roshan’s Kaa­bil had re­leased on the same day and both did well, and Mo­han says, “They did well, but each film could have earned more had they re­leased solo.”

Rani Muk­erji (left) and John Abra­ham (above right) are set for a box­of­fice clash

Sal­man and Aish­warya’s films Race 3 and Fan­ney Khan both have an Eid re­lease

Sid­harth’s Aiyaary (top) and Anushka’s Pari (above) share the same re­lease date in Feb

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