Brace yourself for January 25, folks, the Shah Rukh Khan vs Hrithik Roshan box office clash is going to be a super-sized showdown. It has just been revealed that Hrithik's film Kaabil will open on the morning and not the evening of January 25 as it was previously meant to. Kaabil appears to have thrown its gauntlet into the ring and has deliberately rescheduled itself by some hours to go up against Shah Rukh Khan's Raees. Those who already know the backstory to this will be getting the popcorn ready, those who don't should read on for edification. The change in Kaabil's release time was tweeted by trade analyst Taran Adarsh:
The mega box office clash on this Republic Day weekend has been contentious ever since SRK's film rebooked its dates from last July. Its original release date meant that Raees would have competed with Salman Khan's Sultan, a collision that was averted when the producers of Raees announced that the film would instead open on January 26, 2017. The date had already been calendared for two films - Ajay Devgn's Baadshaho and Hrithik's Kaabil. Baadshaho rescheduled, Kaabil didn't.
Negotiations took place between Team Raees and Team Kaabil but failed to produce a result until it was revealed last December that Hrithik Roshan's movie would advance itself to the evening before - 6 pm on January 25 was the film's new slot. Just days later, at the release of the trailer of Raees, Shah Rukh Khan announced that his film would also be changing its date to January 25 and would open in the morning, hours before Kaabil. "We had discussed this a long time ago with our exhibitors and distributors. We will be opening in the regular shows and Kaabil will open in the evening shows. This is a logical decision because the 26th is a holiday. We had decided that we would reveal the release date only at the launch of the trailer," SRK said at the launch event.
Hrithik has diplomatically maintained that the box office is big enough for both films and that his friendship with SRK would survive the clash. His father, Kaabil producer Rakesh Roshan, wasn't so forgiving. "Whatever dates we are taking, they are following us. I would have never done the same. I belong to an old school of filmmaking and I have given 50 years of my life to the industry. I would never release my film on a day when another filmmaker has already announced their film. I decided to remove Krrish 4 also from Christmas 2018 because I saw SRK's film is coming that day. I could have easily released my film with Befikre or even with Dangal if I had to clash. But when I announced the film in February, I saw a clean window in January and hence I picked the date," he told DNA in December.
Now, it seems that Kaabil, co-starring Yami Gautam, is taking the fight to Raees, which co-stars Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Mahira Khan.