John avoids clash with Bhansali, takes on Rani

Abra­ham de­fers Par­manu re­lease to steer clear of Pad­ma­vati; will bat­tle with Muk­erji’s comeback film Hichki next year

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WHILE film­mak­ers are grad­u­ally ac­cept­ing that box-of­fice clashes are in­evitable, not many are will­ing to lock horns with a mam­moth pro­duc­tion like San­jay Leela Bhansali’s Pad­ma­vati. With sev­eral ob­sta­cles plagu­ing the shoot of the Deepika Padukone, Ran­veer Singh and Shahid Kapoor-star­rer, Pad­ma­vati will miss its Novem­ber 17 re­lease date to hit screens two weeks later.

The de­vel­op­ment has af­fected films that were set for a De­cem­ber re­lease, in­clud­ing John Abra­ham’s Par­manu, with the actor-pro­ducer now choos­ing to de­fer it to Fe­bru­ary.

Co-pro­ducer Pr­ernaa Arora says, “Par­manu is small compared to Pad­ma­vati. It’s not wise to pit our film against Bhansali’s. We’ve locked on the Fe­bru­ary 23 date since Anushka Sharma’s Pari will re­lease ear­lier that month, and Ak­shay Ku­mar’s Pad­man is also eye­ing an April date. Also, we don’t want to in­ter­fere with Fan­ney Khan [star­ring Anil Kapoor and Aish­warya Rai Bachchan] or Tarun Man­sukhani’s Drive, which re­leases in the fol­low­ing months.”

In­ter­est­ingly, a clash with Aditya Cho­pra’s Hichki, which marks actor-wife Rani Muk­erji’s re­turn to Bol­ly­wood, doesn’t bother Arora. “I am good with it [clash] be­cause the films are dif­fer­ent. Also, some­times, two good films can come to­gether. We have no other option right now,” she says, cit­ing that a Jan­uary date would limit cer­tain view­ers from turn­ing up in the­atres be­cause “it’s chilly in North In­dia in Jan­uary.” While Abra­ham’s film was sched­uled for a De­cem­ber 8 re­lease, Arora says it would be “sand­wiched” be­tween Pad­ma­vati (De­cem­ber 1) and Tiger Zinda Hai (De­cem­ber 22) if it was not de­ferred.

Rani Muk­erji; (right) John Abra­ham; (in­set) Bhansali

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