The release date of Ram Gopal Varma’s Sarkar 3 has been shifted from 17th March to April 7, 2017. The film will now witness a clash with Ranbir Kapoor-starrer Jagga Jasoos. Why did RGV decide this change in date when his film was having a free run at the Box Office earlier? There is no lack of date issues in this case clearly. Then what prompted the film’s team to go for a date where another major, a much-awaited film is releasing?
Box Office is anyways a hyped concept in India. Most films are planned and made considering in mind their Box Office outcome first and other influences later. In such a BO-driven industry, another clash of two big films is sure to create more buzz. Had Sarkar 3 been releasing solely, all people would have been talking about is: This is RGV’s come-back. Now, with the addition of clash factor in the news, the audience has got another reason to talk about the film. Of course, this means more buzz around Sarkar 3.
It’s just not about Sarkar 3 and Jagga Jasoos. Most clashes that the industry has seen of late, tell a new story behind their same-day release decision. Take Kaabil and Raees for instance. Their clash took an egoistic turn when Rakesh Roshan commented how he had locked the date first and therefore, it should be the other party releasing their film on some other day. He even went on saying that he had never expected such a rigorous stance from Shah Rukh Khan, who has been a close friend so far. While Hrithik tried to initiate the damage control by talking about his friendship with SRK in the interviews later, the fact that Roshans were unhappy with the clash was evidently visible. And whatever the world says about how we have enough audience for both the films, the truth is that such a clash affects the performances of both the films at Box Office—especially in India, where there are not enough screens to release all films in accordance with the number of audiences.
The same ego issues could be sensed in the last year’s Box Office clash when Ae Dil Hai Mushkil and Shivaay clashed as big Diwali releases. While both the films did a good business, the lack of screens resulted in eating their numbers and resisted them in reaching their maximum level at the Box Office. During the promotions of the film, when Ajay Devgn was asked about the clash, he mentioned how he had talked to Karan Johar many a time but no positive result could come out. And then ugly controversy of KRK’s leaked phone call also added to the rivalry. Interestingly, both Ajay Devgn and Karan Johar had not been sharing good terms for long now. In fact, Karan has even deemed Ajay responsible for his fall out with good friend Kajol recently.
Another quite intriguing clash happened in December 2015 when Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Bajirao Mastani was released along with Shah Rukh Khan’s Dilwale. The films were released on 18 December. And it should be noted that no film got released prior to the week in which these two mega-budget films saw their releases. Either side could have easily opted for a week early release and enjoyed a free Box Office run for at least one week. However, no such thing happened. In fact, for the very fact that Dilwale turned out to be a disaster of a film, Bajirao Mastani got more eye balls. Here strikes the comparison factor.
If two big films are releasing on the same day and one turns out to be a complete crap, the another one gets a huge benefit. In the case of Dilwale and Bajirao Mastani, people did not only say that Dilwale was a bad film but also said that Bajirao Mastani was a better film than Dilwale. This entire game of pitting two films against each other helps a lot in not only making the pre-release buzz-worthy but also adds to the post-release mood.
Seems like this is the same theory RGV has applied to ensure success for his film. And why not? It is after a long time that he is bringing a mainstream commercial Bollywood entertainer as a director. A lot is riding on Sarkar 3 and the film will also be responsible for changing RGV’s image from a controversial Twitterati to a filmmaker who has given us films like Rangeela, Bhoot, and Shiva amongst others.