The Republic Day weekend just got more exciting. The most controversial film of Bollywood finally has a date with the theaters. While an official announcement is yet to be made, reports suggest that Padmavat will hit the screen on January 25. The time has come for fans to make a bee line for tickets but the release date has brought with it the biggest box-office clash in the industry between the Sanjay Leela Bhansali film and Akshay Kumar starrer, Padman.
Akshay Kumar may have been harping on the national holiday crowd at the box office with releases like Toilet: Ek Prem Katha, Rustom and Airlift for the past three years but 2018 will see him face a stiff box office battle with Padmavat, presumably affecting his box office collection. But Akshay seems unfazed by the face off, “It is not about competition, it is a very big day, a big week, so all the films can come. Both the films can release on that day. Every film has the right to release whenever they (makers) want, and I am happy for them,” Kumar said.
Padmavat has been made on a huge budget of Rs 190 crore. The movie's clearance comes after a U/A certificate, 5 cuts from the CBFC and a change in name from the original Padmavati. Its producers Viacom 18 and Sanjay Leela Bhansali Productions wanted the film to be released as soon as a green flag was waved by the CBFC.
While the release date may come as a relief to many, Padmavat may still have a few concerns. The ban on screening in the film in Bihar, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan still stand. This could mean depleted screens. Adding to the woes is Karni Sena's renewed agitation to the release. The film has already had to defer its December 1, 2017 release due to protests from right-wing groups over an alleged dream sequence between Rajput queen Rani Padmavati and Turk ruler Alaudin Khilji. The next two weeks till the release of the film are anticipated to be tense.
The stars of the period drama, namely Deepika Padukone, Ranveer Singh and Shahid Kapoor, can finally breathe easy but for Akshay Kumar, it may be a bumpy ride as Bollywood is about to see its biggest box office clash.