Yash Raj Films plans to carpet bomb their film Ek Tha Tiger across the largest-ever number of screens in India, and follow the same strategy for Yash Chopra’s next directorial during Diwali. Will there be any screens left for Ashwni Dhir’s Son Of Sardaar, which is also releasing during the festive season?
Bring it on! That’s going to be the spirit during Diwali this year, with two mega movies taking each other head-on. And we’re not talking stellar casting. We’re also talking pure numbers. So here’s the deal.
Yash Raj Films (YRF) is determined to break a few records with its upcoming Salman Khan-Katrina Kaif starrer Ek Tha Tiger (ETT), which releases on August 15. To make sure the film takes one of the best openings ever, the production house is planning to release the film in more than 2,500 cinema halls (over 3,000 screens) pan-India. This will be the biggest release yet for any film in the history of Indian cinema.
In fact, the only film this year that came a close second to such a mammoth release was Dharma Productions’ Agneepath featuring Hrithik Roshan and Priyanka Chopra, which released across 2,000 plus properties, pan-India. And if you thought this was the most revolutionary step in film distribution that YRF has taken, wait till you hear what plans it has up its sleeve for their Diwali mega release, which is Yash Chopra’s directorial comeback after eight years since Veer Zaara.
However, we have learnt that YRF has signed a contract with exhibitors and distributors to also release Yash Chopra’s next, yet untitled, and featuring Shah Rukh Khan, Katrina Kaif and Anushka Sharma, across even more screens than that of Ek Tha Tiger. Gangjee told us, “Yash Raj Films has been dealing with the same exhibitors and theatre owners through our distribution offices over the last 40 years and all of them would be more than happy to screen a Yash Chopra film, coming after a gap of eight years, without any reservations.”
Now while ETT is a solo release, Yash Chopra’s Diwali release will hit the screens alongside Ajay Devgn Ffilms, YVF Media Pvt Ltd and Viacom18 Motion Pictures’ Son Of Sardaar (SOS) toplining Ajay Devgn, Sonakshi Sinha and Sanjay Dutt. That makes it a potential clash of mega-stars – Shah Rukh Khan versus Ajay Devgn. So, with YRF’s huge release plans, Viacom18 might have a lot to worry about.
Are they fazed? Not one bit! Vikram Malhotra, COO, Viacom18 Motion Pictures says, “In today’s day and age, decisions on what to watch and what not to watch have moved entirely to the audience. Regardless of what marketing and promotional tactics a film undertakes, it is the content that decides the film’s fate at the ticket window. Our film Son Of Sardaar is a quintessential Diwali release as it is packed with all the elements that make for a successful film. Mind-blowing action, rib-tickling comedy, drama, and some wonderful music are all intertwined in a great story.
“We may choose to release the film across 1,000 screens or 2,700 screens but it does not serve any purpose if the film only generates business equivalent to a mere 100 screens. A film’s business cannot be predicted. Ultimately, it is also cinema owners and screen owners who play what the audience demands. All I can say is that the trailer of Son Of Sardaar, which released a few days ago, has received an overwhelming response, which has created unprecedented anticipation in the hearts of the audience. Within the first three days of its release, the trailer has recorded the highest number of views in the history of Hindi cinema.”