Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam will forever be remembered as a film where Salman Khan and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan came together on screen and set it on fire. However, post their breakup, there was also a day that would be remembered in history for Bollywood. It was 14 years back when both the superstars released a film of theirs, hence clashing at the box office.
These were Saawan… The Love Season and Provoked.
While Salman Khan had an extended special appearance of sorts in Saawan… The Love Season, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan was the central protagonist in Provoked, an English language film.
Salman had worked in Saawan Kumar’s Sanam Bewafa right at the beginning of his career and that film was a major hit. Later they had collaborated on Chand Ka Tukda but that film was a huge flop. Now Saawan… The Love Season turned out to be an even bigger flop as it was more of a love story between youngsters Kapil Jhaveri and Saloni Aswani with Salman Khan as an added attraction. He had a pretty droopy look in there and with no major promotional or marketing effort, the film with a modest budget of around 5 crores couldn’t even recover its costs and closed under the 4 crores mark.
Just like many films that Salman Khan has done as a goodwill gesture, this one too failed to create any mark whatsoever commercially and is hardly remembered today.
Provoked didn’t have any better fate either. An Indo-British film, it was made at a higher budget and managed to make some buzz in the European market due to its Cannes Film Festival screen. The film was directed by Jag Mundhra whose hard hitting Bawandar had managed to make some kind of news. However, this one was badly panned and couldn’t find any takers whatsoever, especially in India. Aishwarya Rai Bachchan played the part of an abused wife with Naveen Andrews playing the part of her husband. The film did even worse than Saawan… The Love Season and folded up under the 3 crores mark, hence proving to be a disaster.
Though the clash wasn’t really promoted as that of Salman vs Aishwarya since neither was a hardcore Bollywood potboiler for mainstream audiences, it would still be remembered for the last time that Salman and Aishwarya were seen at the same time in theatres.