Will SRK's Chennai Express derail Akshay's OUATIMD on 15 Aug?

No one wants their film to be up against a Shah Rukh Khan starrer, as it inevitably spells doom for the person pitted against Khan. Ajay Devgn got a taste of it when Son of Sardar released on the same day as Jab Tak Hai Jaan. So, for obvious reasons it wasn't a surprise when Balaji Motion Pictures Limited (BMPL) decided that their upcoming film, Once Upon A Time In Mumbai Dobara, starring Akshay Kumar, Imran Khan and Sonakshi Sinha will release on 15 August, exactly a week after the release of Chennai Express instead of clashing with SRK's release date.

However,  with Khan's Chennai Express minting a whopping Rs 100 crore on the opening weekend breaking all box office records, there now seems to be more reasons for Once Upon A Time In Mumbai Dobara to worry about its box office fate.

According to a Business Standard report, Chennai Express which opened in 3,700 screens,  had the biggest opening at the box office, not just in terms of money but also in terms of screens and while Once Upon A time In Mumbai Dobara which is slated for a 15 August release was hoping to cash in on the holiday weekend, it might not happen if they do not get enough number to screens to pull the crowds.

Posters of Chennai Express and Once Upon A Time In Mumbai Dobara.

Posters of Chennai Express and Once Upon A Time In Mumbai Dobara.

The deal with the multiplexes is that the screens are allotted on a weekly basis and the number of screen a film gets change every week. On 15 August, Chennai Express will complete a week at the box office. With such a tremendous opening, multiplex owners are confused whether it would make great business sense to allot more screens to  Once Upon A Time In Mumbai Dobara over Chennai Express.

Some have reserved a particular number of screens for Chennai Express and decided to dole out the quota for small budget films to Once Upon A Time In Mumbai Dobara.

A certain distributor told the paper that if UTV and Red Chillies (the producers of Chennai Express) refuse to comply with Balaji Telefilms than it is likely that OUATIMD may face difficulty in achieving a good opening at the box office.

"Chennai Express on Thursday previews (earned) Rs 6.75 crore, Friday (opening day) Rs 33.12 crore, Saturday Rs 28.05 crore, Sunday Rs 32.50 crore. Total Rs 100.42 crore nett. Monstrous weekend… India business only,” Taran Adarsh, trade analyst posted on Twitter.

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