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The Big Battle At The Boxoffice, Has Neeraj Pandey Fallen Out With Akshay Kumar?

While December 2017 was dominated by  Tiger Zinda Hai and to  a lesser extent by Fukrey Returns,  there are no other major Hindi releases until the middle of January 2018.

 Trade experts say this famine  of  new releases is a direct consequence  of Padmavati being pushed out  the release  zone.

A  normal flow of releases will begin only in the middle of  January  when on January 12,Akshat Verma’s Kaalaakandi and AnuragKashyap’s Mukkaabaz , two long-delayed dark tales  of vigour and humour are released together.And may the best man win.

But the actual  battle at the boxoffice in 2018 begins on January 26when  for the slot now  owned  by Akshay Kumar(he ensures his films are released for Republic day or Independence Day  or both every year),Akshay’s erstwhile friend and  business partner  Neeraj Pandeymakes a claim with his release Aiyaary.

A  trade insider who wants to remain unnamed  says  this is a deliberate attempt to take on Akshay., “Neeraj Pandey is  very much aware that Akshay Kumar’s Pad Man is releasing on 26 January.Neeraj still went ahead with the release of Aiyaary .Why?  Because  the two have fallen out over financial issues. Their film togetherCrack which was to be made and released on Independence Day,has also been shelved.”
Would Aiyaary be able to take on the mighty Akshay Kumar? Chances, say trade pundits, are bleak. Akshay’s reputation as  the hero of the masses has already generated massive  interest  in  Pad Manwhereas  Aiyaary with Sidharth Malhotra—who hasn’t had a hit in a long time and Manoj Bajpai, a brilliant actor with no boxoffice clout—stands a distant second in terms of audiences’ appeal.

Full marks to Neeraj Pandey  for audacity

 Curiouser still is the fact that  the  Padman co-producer PrernaaArora has decided to release her film Pari just two weeks  after Pad Man.

While Pad Man opens  on  January 26 , Pari,  which Prernaa Arorahas  co-produced with Anushka Sharma,   opens  on 9 February.

So why  is  this enterprising  producer competing with herself?

 Explains  Prernaa Arora, “Pad Man and Pari are two different entities, completely different  films. It’s just  a coincidence that I’m involved with both, a happy coincidence. I am  very proud of both films. Pari is Anushka’s first post-marriage release.So we’re very excited.As for Pad Man Akshay Kumar is Akshay Kumar. No  one can touch this,” says Prernaa Arora confidently.

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