Battle lines have been drawn. For perhaps the first time in more than a decade, other superstars have taken a lead as far as announcing their festival arrival is concerned and Shahrukh Khan, whose very name was otherwise good enough to block a Diwali slot, is keeping mum. While Salman Khan and Akshay Kumar have booked Eid for themselves, Hrithik Roshan has confirmed arriving on Diwali and Aamir Khan is now all set for Christmas release. As for Chennai Express and Happy New Year, the two films that Shahrukh is a part of, there are no confirmed plans announced yet.
"This is rather uncharacteristic", says an insider, "Shahrukh's films are made for Diwali arrival and his last two, Jab Tak Hai Jaan and Ra.One, had kept their appointment with the date as well. However Roshans are bringing their Krrish 3 on Diwali 2013. On the other hand, Chopras have announced Dhoom 3 for Christmas next year. As for Salman and Akshay, they have to first battle it out within themselves that whether the Sohail Khan directed film and Once Upon A Time In Mumbaai 2 would indeed clash with each other on Eid."
While it is unlikely that Shahrukh would look at invading the Eid slot since its synonymous with Salman, there are speculations around him bringing Chennai Express on Diwali.
"Let's not forget that Diwali is as much a Shahrukh territory as Rohit Shetty. The filmmaker has seen numerous hits by coming on Diwali and the fun-n-frolic feel of Chennai Express is ideally suited for a festival arrival", a source adds.
The easiest 'holiday spot' available is 15th August. Though Subhash Ghai and Prakash Jha have booked the date for Kaanchi and Satyagraha respectively, the very fact that they haven't even begun shooting and Shahrukh is too mighty a competition to be ignored, Chennai Express could well be having an early date at the box office. Though indications are that the film could even come in July (Rohit Shetty has a very good record with this month, courtesy Bol Bachchan, Singham and Golmaal, each of which came in July), as for Happy New Year, one waits to see how close does it make to the New Year's eve.