As the day of judgement (December 18) for Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Bajirao Mastani and Rohit Shetty’s Dilwale approaches, the battle to secure more screens and theatres intensifies.
At the moment, it seems Dilwale has wangled the larger number of screens. According to the latest reports coming in, Shah Rukh Khan has reportedly stuck a secret deal with a major all-India multiplex chain which has consented to allot more screens to Dilwale than Bajirao Mastani.
This development puts Bajirao Mastani at a disadvantage in terms of the number of screens.
Says a source close to the development. “The ratio of screens for Dilwale and Bajirao Mastani is 60:40. It was not that way until recently. Eros International, the co-producers of Bajirao Mastani had booked a majority of the screens six months in advance. That was when Dilwale release date was nowhere near to be announced. Suddenly Shah Rukh Khan decided to release on the same day as Bajirao Mastani.”
According to this source director Rohit Shetty was opposed to the idea of releasing on the same day as Bajirao Mastani. “Rohit wanted Dilwale to be released on December 25. But Shah Rukh was adamant on December 18. He was even sure he would get more screens for his film. And he managed just that by taking the owners of a leading multiplex chain into confidence,” says the source. It remains to be seen how much this aggressive self-interest helps Dilwale.