Thursday, 6th September 12:45 PM IST
Biggest war of the year at box office will be unveiled this diwali and already its getting fearsome. And media is circulating all kind of stories including one report in today's leading newspaper that distribution officials from Eros International and Viacom 18 called theater owners, asking them to bypass the deal struck with YRF.
The battle between Ajay Devgn's "Son of Sardaar" and Yash Chopra's Shah Rukh Khan-starrer, both scheduled for a November 14 release, has escalated. Buzz was distributors had been told to book the same number ofscreens for the Shah Rukh-starrer as for Salman Khan's "Ek Tha Tiger".
It has been reported that the fight turned ugly on Tuesday afternoon when distribution officials from Eros International and Viacom 18 started making calls to theater owners, asking them to bypass the deal struck with YRF.
Report further states that they threatened the theater owners that in the event they didn't comply, four of the production houses' forthcoming films: "Oh My God"(September 28), "Bhoot Returns"(October 12), "Aiyya" (October 12) and "Chakravyuh" (October 24) wouldn't be screened in their theaters.
The distribution rights of "Son of Sardaar", a joint production by Ajay Devgn and Viacom 18, were sold to Eros International in July to ensure smooth distribution of the film. The deal had been struck between Ajay and Eros' head honcho Kishore Lulla.
Inder Raj Kapoor of STV confirmed that calls were made to companies like Rahul Aksar Group, E City and themselves. Rahul of the Rahul Aksar Group said he didn't wish to comment on the matter.
A source from the exhibition circuit said, "We have been told to give priority to "Son of Sardaar" in our multiplexes and remove the blanket ban else..."
Meanwhile, a source from the trade said, "One fails to understand why Ajay is hell bent on releasing his film on the same day as Yash Chopra's film.Releasing the film during Diwali does not necessarily help. Ajay's"Singham" did so well despite hitting the theaters during the non-festive season. Or then, Yash Raj should shift the date. This war is no good for the industry."
We spoke to few distributors to find out the truth and this is what we got. Yash Raj Films have booked all the cinemas across country and cinema owners have signed the deal. As per the reliable sources, Yash Chopra's film will be releasing in not less than 2800-3000 screens though they will not like to go for more than this number like "Ek Tha Tiger" as this is not an action film which heavily dependent on opening. Romantic films run for longer duration and so over exposure is not advised.
On contrary, Eros is targeting 1800-2000 screens for "Son Of Sardaar" and they know that this is maximum what they can achieve. But problem is that even then they will not get quality of screens which will affect film's prospect. As of now, first round gos to Yash Raj Films and lets see what Eros can do to salvage the situation.