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Simmba versus Zero: Rohit Shetty clarifies why there is no 'clash'

With just a week between the two big-budget films, the director is confident Shah Rukh Khan’s Zero will not eat into Simmba's pie.

Mayur Lookhar

The film trade will be closely watching the last eleven days of 2018, with two big-budget films lined up for release in a space of eight days.

First up comes the Shah Rukh Khan-starrer Zero, which is scheduled to hit the screens on 21 December. Rohit Shetty's Simmba, starring Ranveer Singh, is set to be released a week later, on the last Friday of the year, 28 December.

Both the films were earlier targeted at a Christmas release, but the producers got together and decided to avert a direct clash.

However, if Zero has a phenomenal first week, it could still eat into Simmba's pie. But Shetty is unperturbed.

The filmmaker, in conversation with noted film journalist Mayank Shekhar at the Jagran Film Summit, ahead of the Jagran Film Festival, in Mumbai on Friday, was asked during the question-answer session what he made of two big films being released within eight days of each other.

The Golmaal Again (2017) director proceeded to undermine all talk of a Zero versus Simmba clash. “There is no clash,” he declared. “Shah Rukh, Karan [probably Johar] and I, we just sat together and sorted it out. There is a week's time between the films. I don’t get affected by this clash.”

History shows Shetty has held the upper hand on the few occasions when he has been involved in a direct clash at the box office. Last year. Golmaal Again was pitted against Aamir Khan’s Secret Superstar. The latter had a limited release and, perhaps, better content, but Golmaal Again made more than Rs200 crore nett at the box office.

In 2009, Shetty’s All The Best: Fun Begins was pitted against the much-fancied Blue, starring Akshay Kumar, and Salman Khan’s Main Aur Mrs Khanna.  Despite the competition, All The Best held its own, bagging Rs41 crore nett in domestic business.

The following year, Shetty clashed with Akshay Kumar again and his Golmaal 3 proved to be a runaway success with Rs108 crore nett in domestic business. Akshay Kumar’s Action Replayy (2010) was a disaster.

The only time Shetty came second best in a box-office clash was when his much-hyped Dilwale fell behind Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Bajirao Mastani. While both films were hits, Bajirao Mastani was the bigger one. That was in 2015. And, interestingly, the lead star of Dilwale was Shah Rukh Khan while Ranveer Singh played the lead in Bajirao Mastani.