Aamir Khan plays saviour; gives away additional Secret Superstar shows to Golmaal Again


Usually, during the simultaneous release of two big films, a fight erupts over screen sharing. It has happened in the past with Jab Tak Hai Jaan and Son Of Sardaar in 2012 and more recently, during the release of Raees and Kaabil. But when Aamir Khan announced that he’ll release Secret Superstar on Diwali with Golmaal Again, nobody expected any screen-sharing tiff. After all, Secret Superstar was a much smaller film and would not require huge number of screens to excel at the box office.

However, the unthinkable happened in the last one week prior to the release of these films. Secret Superstar managed to get almost 45-50% of shows in the all-India multiplex chains, leaving only 50-55% for Golmaal Again! In normal circumstances, Golmaal Again would have secured 70% shows considering it was a bigger film. Even if we consider that Secret Superstar features a superstar like Aamir Khan in a supporting role, it would have still got around 40% shows at the most, ideally. Although Reliance Entertainment, the presenters of Golmaal Again, had presented its demand for 60-70% of shows for their film, their approach was a bit lukewarm maybe because they expected that their demand would be met. This was shocking considering that Golmaal Again stars Ajay Devgn. He was also there in Son Of Sardaar whose fate was sealed as it failed in its distribution strategy against Jab Tak Hai Jaan who had closed their agreements prior to his film. Meanwhile, Aamir secretly stole the thunder and got 45-50% of shows in his kitty in the all-India multiplex chains. The standalone multiplexes also followed the footsteps of big multiplex chains since that’s what they do usually. It’s only in single screen cinemas and lesser known multiplexes where 60-65% of shows were allocated to Golmaal Again but that’s not where one gets big moolah.

This arrangement, as expected, shocked everyone. After all, Golmaal Again clearly had much more demand than Secret Superstar. Also, the comic caper’s landing cost was exorbitant as compared to Aamir Khan’s flick! Moreover, it was released on the beneficial Diwali weekend and they expected to amass a huge amount of money at the box office in the first three days, which was absolutely necessary for them. As a result, Reliance Entertainment did not allow PVR and other major multiplex chains to open advance booking for their film till the last moment. Finally, the multiplex chains agreed to increase the shows but not upto the desired level.

In all this chaos and competition, Aamir Khan made an unpredictable move. When he realized that Golmaal Again had taken an insane opening while Secret Superstar was running with less than 50% occupancy, he decided to give additional shows to the former from Saturday [today] onwards.

A source close to Aamir Khan said ”Aamir is confident of Secret Superstar and doesn’t want to hold on to shows which are underutilized while there’s a scope for Golmaal Again to utilize that capacity. Secret Superstar is a word of mouth film and hence he doesn’t want to keep all the allotted shows for his film when they are not needed. Aamir keeps the larger interests of the film industry in mind and he is therefore where he is today.”

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