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.