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Lock Kiya Jaye

Getting your film’s release date right is crucial for many reasons

RA.One and Don 2 are releasing practically together but whenever we do a film, we believe that the period is good. Yashji is known to release my films during Diwali. But I believe that the best time to release films is Christmas because you get the holidays. But if the film is bad, even the holidays won’t help.

So the film has to have that festive, happy feeling. It is by chance that RA.One will be a Diwali release.We were planning to release the film in June. It’s very important for a production house to know the end date because that gives them a deadline to work towards. Then, you can work on it properly and market it too.

Since RA.One was originally meant to release in June, I wanted to start marketing it in November last year. I wanted to market it in a different way, not how it’s usually done, four weeks before a film’s release. I wanted to start a year in advance. So release date is important for the production. But they say that the business also gets impacted.

Even in Hollywood, holidays are important to release dates. They release summer blockbusters during the summer holidays and winter blockbusters during winter. So any business has a season.

After fixing the release date a year ago, we are still behind schedule. So the first thing you should do is lock a date and work backwards, four or five months so that shooting of the film wraps up early. RA.One ek saal pehle khatam hui thi. Actually, because of just one sequence, where there were date issues between Kareena and me not matching, we could not shoot that scene in December. Otherwise, December would have been my last scene. 

We were planning to release the film in June but we did not like the way the suit was made. So we spent three more months to shoot the film. By chance, Kishore Lulla called up the distributor and said Diwali mein release karte hain. I was saying August. So then he was, like, October mein hi kar lete hai. My unit was very happy as they got more time.

Luckily we are in a position where we our film is being considered to be very big. If it wasn’t, no one would have given a damn. I would call anyone if my film is clashing with someone else. I have done that earlier too. That listen, yaar, we have planned to release it on 25. Sometimes, we even argue that, nahi, yaar, hamne pehle hi yeh sab decide kiya tha. So you respect that.

I think one producer should say, ok, let’s keep a week’s gap. It’s always wise that way. Like, I remember when Om Shanti Om released along with Saawariya, it affected the business of both films. Jaaneman released with Don and it affected both our businesses. So that’s not right.

When a film releases individually, it gets that opening weekend. Films are so expensive that you allow everyone to take advantage of a holiday or a free week. But then, if you do the math, there are about 200 films releasing a year but only 52 Fridays. So that’s four pictures Friday ko aa hi jayegi. Abhi ek do picture agar ek doosre ko kahe ki nahi aao they will still come.
It is not possible to adjust every film. So whenever two producers can talk, they should and make adjustments. And they should not put egos first. I think if one film clashes with another film on a Friday, it is better you come out one week before or after the film’s release. So we get the long solo weekend, which is very good for the film. I didn’t know we had a long weekend.

Today, production houses have become more organised. Pehle pata nahi hota tha. 4 to 5 din shooting karte the. Abhi 90 per cent you stick to the schedule. Upar neeche bhi hua toh you keep that levee of three months.

Like, I know Dhoom 3 is releasing during Christmas next year. If I am making a film and also want to release it during Christmas, I will speak to YRF to adjust it. Sometimes the marketing strategy is also impacted for both films. So if you can announce, it is much better so you can say, yaar, maine announce kiya tha. That’s good organisational skills.

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