Ajay Devgn made a light hearted remark about PK‘s release date at the trailer launch of Action Jackson. Devgn had earlier staunchly opposed to the monopoly of Yash Raj Films and got into a legal debacle over the production house allegedly using its dominant position to not giving Ajay’s film Son of Sardaar equal amount of screen count. YRF did benefit from their long standing relationship with exhibitors and distributors. It is not often that Ajay recounts that unfortunate tussle, which began as a neat ‘Clash of the Titans‘ but ended up severing many crucial relations.
This was Diwali 2011 but when we sit and recount what is releasing over the festivals and important holidays in the next two years, we have it on our fingertips. While it’s a good sign that the industry is thriving and is in a lucrative position, it’s also a bad sign that there exists a monopoly of the Superstars – primarily the Khans.
When we asked Ajay Devgn about this monopoly that exists he admits it does and it is very wrong for the industry as a whole. He told us, “See I will be honest. It doesn’t matter everybody is booked. What is happening is, the situation is such that everyone wants a festival date to release their films. Since the business during festivals is brilliant, everyone wants those dates to release their films. In a year or two, we will have multiple films releasing during festivals. Two to three films will release during festivals in a few years from now. This year Bang Bang and Haider came together. People will start releasing two movies on the same date because there is no choice.”
Condemning the monopoly of the industry, Ajay seemed optimistic that it is shortlived. He was the first to speak up against the arm-twisting ways of big production houses. But probably that tussle made him optimistic. He notes, “This monopoly is very harmful ofcourse. I am confident this monopoly will break. It’s just not right that people decide two years in advance and book the date. Eventually someday someone will decide on releasing alongside you. There is always space for multiple releases and then each will run on their merit. This is what happened with Jab Tak Hai Jaan and Son Of Sardar. Releasing on the same date cannot be an issue as long as everything is fair. Both JTHJ and SOS performed exceedingly well. Apart from Son Of Sardar having very less theaters, there was no issue as such. The lack of theaters won’t happen again because even the distributors checked themselves and have balanced it out. “
The box office competition is too heavy these days and Ajay agrees that no film can sustain beyond a week, if not allowed a very long run or not be at an advantageous position of gathering a big opening. Ajay said, “Box office has become too competitive these days. The shelf life of any film is never more than a week. Every week there is a film. The best way of minting money at the box office is either you have a grand opening or you have a long run. Action Jackson has two weeks. That’s good enough if we open well. We don’t have a holiday and that would have made a big difference but we have a longer span of running at the theaters.”
His next film Action Jackson is all set to release on 5th December. Last year, Eros and Prabhudheva’s R..Rajkumar too released around the same time and made big bucks.