Akshay Kumar releasing films on Eid, Diwali and Christmas proves a star is no longer bound to a particular festival

Devansh Sharma

Aug 28, 2019 12:52:07 IST

On Monday, Salman Khan announced his film with Sanjay Leela Bhansali, titled Inshallah, will not release on Eid 2020 as scheduled earlier. However, a statement from Bhansali Productions later in the day revealed the romantic drama with Salman opposite Alia Bhatt has been indefinitely shelved.

 Akshay Kumar releasing films on Eid, Diwali and Christmas proves a star is no longer bound to a particular festival

Akshay Kumar in the first look poster of Laxmmi Bomb. Image from Twitter

Salman clarified on Tuesday that the decision to not reunite with Bhansali 13 years after Saawariya will not affect his personal relationship with the director. In the midst of all of the announcements and clarifications, Akshay Kumar conveniently announced his horror comedy Laxmmi Bomb, the Hindi remake of Tamil hit Kanchana 2, will release on 22 May, 2020, on Eid, two weeks earlier than its scheduled release date of 5 June, 2020.

Salman has assured his fans that he will not let go of his staple release date of Eid as of yet. However, the star, who is currently shooting for Dabangg 3, slated to release this Christmas on 20 December, has not announced which film of his will release on Eid 2020, in place of Inshallah. Speculations are rife it will be Sajid Nadiadwala's action thriller Kick 2, that was initially slotted for Christmas this year.

What is interesting is another Akshay film, Rohit Shetty's cop drama Sooryavanshi, was initially slated to release on Eid 2020. When Katrina Kaif, who was then announced as the leading lady, was asked about the anticipated Inshallah vs Sooryavanshi clash, she said she didn't think Salman would let it happen. Later, along with a picture of Shetty with Salman, it was announced that Sooryavanshi had been pulled to 27 March, 2020.

Though Akshay said the aversion of clash is "a good sign", his involvement was probably not so deep into the decision. In fact, Salman and Akshay have not collaborated professionally for years. Though his co-production with Salman, along with Karan Johar's Dharma Productions, starring him in the lead role, did fall out last year, the film went on to get made as Kesari, and proved Kumar's prowess at the box office again.

Inshallah is not the first time Akshay moved the release date of his film to avoid a clash with a Bhansali directorial. Last year, his social drama Padman was scheduled to clash with his Rowdy Rathore producer's period drama Padmaavat, which starred Ranvir Singh, Deepika Padukone, and Shahid Kapoor. In a press conference held at his place, Akshay informed the media that Bhansali had requested him to postpone Padman by two weeks because the clash will further thwart the box office chances of Padmaavat, which was in the eye of the storm, owing to allegations of historical inaccuracy by religious outfit Karni Sena. Kumar also felt the undue attention towards Padmaavat may never let the discussion around menstrual hygiene, that Padman touched upon, take off. Though Padmaavat went on to earn over Rs 300 crore domestically at the box office, and Padman could not even cross the Rs 100 crore-mark, Kumar felt Padman was successful in starting a conversation on low-cost sanitary pads in the remotest parts of India. It was also given the Best Film On Social Issue honour at the National Awards earlier this year.

Recent events, however, would have made Akshay more confident in facing fellow stars head on at the box office. Earlier this month, his space film Mission Mangal clashed with his Desi Boyz co-star John Abhraham's Batla House on Independence Day. Last year also, Akshay's sports drama Gold had clashed with John's cop drama Satyamev Jayate. But this year, Akshay clearly had the bigger hand at the box office. Mission Mangal has made Rs 164 crores so far, while Batla House has managed to make Rs 83 crore at the box office.

At the trailer launch of Mission Mangal, when he was quizzed about the clash of his film with John's, he quoted John from the trailer launch of Batla House, and said, "Make some noise for the Desi Boyz!" He explained the Indian film industry is the biggest by the virtue of churning out the maximum number of films in a year. While the screens are limited, and so are the big festival release dates, every producer wants to maximise profit by releasing their film on a festival weekend, when the targeted audience is more likely to throng to the theatres. Hence, film clashes are bound to happen.

In the future, his film, Farhad Samji's Bachchan Pandey, is also clashing with Aamir Khan's Forrest Gump remake, Advait Chandan's coming-of-age film Lal Singh Chadha, on Christmas 2020. Since clashes have become almost the order of the day now, as soon as Salman announced his Inshallah would not release as planned on Eid next year, Akshay moved his film Laxmmi Bomb to the lucrative window. This Diwali, his comedy Housefull 4 is clashing with his Baby, Naam Shabana, and Mission Mangal co-star Taapsee Pannu's buddy comedy Saand Ki Aankh. Also, his urban romantic comedy with Kareena Kapoor Khan, Good News, will release exactly a week after Salman's Dabangg 3 on 28 December.

Clearly, with the number of films he does in a year, Akshay has no choice but to release most of them during the big festival weekends. From Eid to Diwali to Christmas, he is now taking over all the festivals, and shows why a star should not be associated with a particular festival. Hope you are listening, Salman.

Updated Date: Aug 28, 2019 14:40:08 IST