Ranbir Kapoor
Nayandeep Rakshit (DNA; June 22, 2017)

The year 2017 would have seen the biggest clash of films during Christmas, when Salman Khan (and Katrina Kaif) in Tiger Zinda Hai would have gone head to head with Ranbir Kapoor’s Dutt biopic. But, that has been averted as RK’s film has been pushed to March 2018, giving Tiger Zinda Hai a solo release.

A close match
Our trade source tells us there were several reasons why the Rajkumar Hirani film was pushed, “Vidhu Vinod Chopra is mounting this film on a huge scale and this might be the film Ranbir has been wanting for so long. Hirani can hardly go wrong with content, and is the most bankable director in the industry, so it would have been a ‘close match’ but the distributors and exhibitors asked the producers to delay the film’s release.”

The big clash
A reason for the delay was that VVC allegedly asked for whopping Rs 110-120 crore for theatrical rights. Our source confirms, “The exhibitors weren’t willing to pay more than Rs 70-80 crore for the film because if the clash had happened, the films would have suffered. Also, Salman’s film would have had an advantage when it comes to the division of screens. TZH would have still done more than Rs 200 crore business, but Ranbir’s film would have done maximum Rs 150 crore, even if the content was terrific.”

Solo release
It was then that the trade experts met VVC and explained the situation. “The Dutt biopic is a huge film, and will definitely do crazy numbers. But that’s only when it doesn’t clash with a superstar’s film, especially Salman’s. So the distributors agreed to pay them Rs 110 crore for the theatrical rights, on the condition that the film was pushed to a later date. Now, it has a solo release on March 30.”