Its final – Shah Rukh Khan‘s biggest release of 2017, Jab Harry Met Sejal [JHMS], is now arriving on August 4. It was originally slated for August 11, the same date that Akshay Kumar reserved his Toilet – Ek Prem Katha [TEPK] for. With both films being biggies indeed and the clash turning out to be a spanner in their plans, one wondered how Box Office would behave when the mighty took on each other.
However, with the clash been averted, it is good news for one and all. Here is how:
No bad blood
The best part about a week’s gap between JHMS and TEPK is the fact that there won’t be any bad blood now between the two films and the camps to which they belong. Time and again it has been seen in instances of a Box Office clash that industry at large chooses to take a side. Once that happens, everything gets divided, be it social media talks surrounding the films or the media coverage. Now that the two biggies are arriving on back to back Fridays, one expects a much more peaceful and segregated approach towards promotion & marketing. Yes, it would be close, but won’t be bitter.
No fight for screen space
Whenever two biggies arrive on the same weekend, it is but natural that the screens get divided. Both Shah Rukh Khan and Akshay Kumar warrant an arrival on 3000 screens at the least. However, with only 5000 screens at maximum available across the country for Bollywood films, both the biggies are forced to take a cut. That happened earlier this year with Raees and Kaabil. The same was the case with Dilwale and Bajirao Mastani as well. Incidentally, both starrer Shah Rukh Khan in the lead. Now that there is a week’s gap between the two films, JHMS would start with 4000 screens and then TEPK would take over.
No loss of revenue for the two films
Whether it is a case of two good films arriving together, two bad films clashing or one good and one bad film taking on each other, there is loss of revenue for both the films. Period. After all, when it comes to biggies with multi-crore budgets involved, there is extensive spend that happens on the marketing and promotion as well. However, the capacity at the Box Office is always constant which means revenue is bound to be divided. Why deprive industry of earning from those select star driven biggies that hit the screens only occasionally by restricting footfalls? Instead, keep them coming one week after another!
No threat of piracy
It is as simple as that, when an average viewer watches one film in theatres, he is inclined to watch the other on the pirated version, especially when both films arrive on the same date. Of course, this too when there is good interest amongst audiences for both the films. It is extremely rare to have a common man with a family of four rushing to watch two movies in a single week. That just doesn’t happen anymore even for those who have means to step into theatres; after all, even for them there are online streaming channels available. Yes, things turn different though when the two films are separated by a week.
No unfair comparison at the Box Office
Just as it happens between one film and the other, numbers that would be garnered by JHMS and TEPK would come in for comparison. After all, both films are biggies in their own right and hence deserve to be talked about amidst the trade, industry and the audience. However, this is still a better situation to be in when the release dates are different. Things turn truly bitter, ugly and unfair when there is a Box Office clash on the same date. Invariably, instead of numbers of one film being reported, it is about pitting one against another. It is more about X film defeats Y or Y ends challenge from X. Totally unwarranted!
No forced choice to be made by audience
All said and done, whenever two biggies clash, audience is forced to make a choice. It is always one film versus the other. As a matter of fact it is also not as much about a viewer choosing between the two; it is also about the conditioning that happens through various media forums that inclines an individual towards one film or the other. There is never a closely fought battle either as invariably it is one film that takes a big lead over the other at least over the first weekend. Of course it is a better film that comes up trumps eventually. However, an all important first weekend is lost. That won’t be the case now.