Ajay Devgn: Why don’t they ask Aamir Khan, Akshay Kumar and Salman Khan to postpone their films?

1.50 PM IST 11.06.2012
Cinema is not just an emotional investment, but also a very big and risky business proposition. So when a very sensible actor-filmmaker like Ajay Devgn – who shies away from anything that creates negativity in the industry – is embroiled in a controversial mess, he finds it difficult to deal with. Devgn tries to explain why he has to release Son of Sardaar on November 13, even though it clashes with the last film that Yash Chopra directed, Jab Tak Hai Jaan, starring Shahrukh Khan, Katrina Kaif and Anushka Sharma….

 

You have played a sardar earlier; how different is SOS for you?

The character of Bhagat Singh was very special to me. While playing it, I wondered if there could actually be a man like him. SOS is about how you usually perceive a sardar to be. Sardars are known to be larger than life. Whatever they do, they do it loudly – they laugh loudly, they express their love loudly by hugging tightly, ladte bhi zor se hain. So this is larger than life entertainment.

Your last film Bol Bachchan entered the Rs 100 crore club. Naturally, as a producer, you must have high expectations of SOS

I am very confident about the film. The film has got good buzz, good songs, so everything is very positive right now. The rest is left for the audience to decide. If you don’t get biased about your film, toh samajh mein aata hain ke film kaisi bani hain. We all have seen the film and so I feel everything is positive right now, but ultimately the audience will decide its fate.

The controversy that has erupted between the two films – SOS and Jab Tak Hai Jaan – just before their release… did you try to sort out the issue personally before serving a notice to Yash Raj Films?

We have been fighting it with the exhibitors and distributors to the point that they could do anything and then we decided to go to the Competition Commission of India, which took us more than a month because it’s a lot of paperwork; it’s been going on for the past three months now. We tried to convey our messages through our exhibitors, but when that didn’t happen, we had to take this step. I’m not a person who would indulge into anything just to create controversy, because I hate controversy. But what has to be done, has to be done.

It seems like the people at Yash Raj are completely ignorant about the whole issue…

(Cuts in) They are trying to be ignorant. When you are wrong, you don’t respond. I’ve read their response – they are trying to fool you guys by saying that there are 10, 500 screens. But in today’s time, I don’t think the media is so ignorant and stupid that you could fool them. If I had 8,000 screens, am I a fool to spend my money, lose my reputation and go to court – does it make sense? Don’t take anybody’s side; just go by the statistics: of the 10,000 or 12,000 theatres, over 5,000 to 6,000 are in the South, where only regional films release and there’s no Hindi audience. How many left – 4,000-or 4,500 screens? Of these theatres, 1,500 are closed. Now the quantity of operational theatres is already low. Every year, at least two films release during Diwali. If the two films are good, they run at the box office. You take a look at the BO record over the last ten years – whenever two films are released, unka batwaara kaisa hua hain, in terms of getting the equal number of shows. I’ll give you one example – a place like Dadar has seven single screens; YRF has blocked six and we have only one. In Delhi, there are 21 single screens and we have only three. These are actual figures.

This has never happened before. If they can issue a statement and fool you like this, then I don’t think you should also take things as is. You can verify the figures and then take your call. I’m not asking you to take my side. Follow what is right. I’m not the kind of guy who would discuss these things, but I have no option.

Don’t you think it’s negative publicity?

I’m not a person who would discuss all these things with the media. There were two to three articles that appeared recently. But I didn’t comment because I thought jitna easily sort out ho jaaye utna achcha hota. But I cannot help it. It is eventually negative publicity and I don’t want that. Agar mujhe unse ladna bhi hain, toh mujhe lagta hai ke main apna product achcha banau. Apni lakeer lambi karne ke liye main samne wale ki lakeer choti toh nahi kar raha. See, the intention is to scare the person and block as many theatres as possible, so that the person decides not to release.

There’s buzz in the industry especially after Yash Chopra’s death that JTHJ has already become golden and there’s controversy now, which sells tickets. Aren’t you worried?

I was worried, but at the same time you have to understand, we filed the case much before the sad demise of Mr Chopra. So when this happened, I felt people will target me now. Nobody is going to understand my point of view. So I was the villain on both sides. If I withdraw, I’m a villain and any lawyer will say that in cases like this, you cannot withdraw. It’s not a normal court. I’m fighting for my rights. Even if I complain – I’m not saying Yashji ki picture rok do; I’m asking for a fair deal. I’m not asking for compensation. That’s not my concern. I haven’t done anything that will harm anybody. I wish their film to do well at the BO. Tomorrow, if I win, it will be my benefit, but if I don’t, it’s okay. If I win, kisi aur ka loss nahi hoga.

The promotions of JTHJ are on. Are you feeling insecure?

Even if I feel it, I cannot say it. I don’t want to get into that zone, because I’m not fighting with anybody. I’ve put my problems to the Competition Commission. If everything sorts out tomorrow, then we will be one big happy family. I will not hold any grudge against anybody.

Have you been asked to postpone the release of your film?

No, I wasn’t asked to push the release, but some people suggested I do so. I respect Yashji as much as anybody else. We have grown up watching his films. But now it is too late to back out, because Rs 70-80 crore is at stake. And it’s not just my film. There are two corporates involved, so I’m answerable to them and also my shareholders who have invested their money in my film. It’s not an easy decision. My only problem was a date. Do you want me to release my film with Aamir Khan or Akshay Kumar? Why don’t they (industry) ask Aamir, Akshay and Salman to postpone the release dates of their films?

The warmth that people shared before is certainly missing. We used to go to each other’s film sets and have fun, but while the advent of corporates has resulted in better business, that charm is not there.

Reports suggest that you are at war with Shahrukh Khan?

Trust me, it’s not true. It’s not actor Ajay and actor Shahrukh war. It’s not even a war. It’s Ajay Devgn’s fight as a producer for his rights with another producer. Even if we meet today, we share the same warmth and affection.

 

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48 Comments

    • ank_16n said:

      South Delhi ke School ke Student—-
      you chest would have become Blouse(Dialogue of Bol Bachchan) by seeing Salman Khan name at last…….
      Was Last
      Is Last
      Will Remain Last…..

  1. Harsha said:

    the movie is good (telugu one) … so.. the wom should be positive for SOS.. Wishing Ajay all the success … hoping that SOS comes out as a better of the 2 movies…

  2. Khan.1 said:

    It hurts so much to bash ajay devgn but due to some despo fanatics i have to do so.
    All the sallu ,akki nd aamir fans are supporting SOS and if SOS dont collect now than its a SHAME

  3. FS said:

    he is so straight forward. Never read an interview where he was so emotional and angry at the same time. That means yrf is really pissing him off. I can only wish public luck to Sos…

  4. danish said:

    aanganwadi-dropout-at-16 = cme to thnk of it salman is the only one who is most likey to shift his film to help a colleague. some one like akshay wud just slyly creep into the slot vacated by salman for aamir’s talash (remeber june 3) so that he can have a hit after 13 flops. akshay can only do such chindigiri. salman can only do large hearted things like giving away slots worth crores. let his name be last, it dosnt matter.

    • ank_16n said:

      South Delhi(Khanpur) ke school ke student—–
      yeah main jaanta hu Salman can give His own Release Date of Dabangg 2 to Ajay….
      because He knows India vs Pakistan cricket match ki wagah se D2 waise bhi Flop hogi…
      agar Below Average jaa rahi hogi toh Trust Arbaaz Direction Skills…
      so Charity ke naam pe Release date hi shift karlo….
      M i Right
      or
      M i Right….

  5. kartik said:

    @danish..I genuinely believe that u r d biggest salman khan fan ever..however is it necessary to downgrade other actors and their fans to show that Salman is the better one??…Isnt it common sense and common knowledge that Salman is the biggest superstar now and may be of all time??.. Btw my comment is not with respect to your previous comment in particular but what I normally see here at NG..

    As per on the topic…I do feel for Ajay Devgan..he seems to have a winner at his hands…And when you have invested so much time and money into a product and that goes waste due to the tactics employed by others, it hurts..

    However for YRF , it was purely a business move..Why would they not cash in on Salman Khan, when everybody else in the fraternity is doing it…It was what any business house would have done…

    Basically…sorry times for bollywood…Hopefully the better movie succeeds!!

  6. danish said:

    aanganwadi-dropout-at-16 = dabangg 2 flop hogi ya hit ye dekhne mein 2 mahine bhi nahinbache hain. tiger ka kya hau humne 3 mahine pehle dekh hi liya, usse pehle bodyguard, usse pehle ready, wanted, dabangg, mpk, hahk, saajan, sanam bewafa, karan arjun, jeet, judwa, pyaar kiya to darna kya, bandhan, jab pyaar kisi se hota hai, biwi no 1, humdil de…., hum saath saah hain, mujhse shaadi karogi, hum tumhaare hain sanam, baaghbaan, no entry, maine pyaar kyun kiya, partner and many many more

  7. danish said:

    @kartik – thanx for the compliment. i run down stars that deserve running down, in my poinion. the slimy off screen tactics of srk, aamir and akshay put me off so i comment. on the other hand starghtforward actors like ajay, hrihik, shahid etc are not run down by me f u have noticed. in fact ranbeer kapoor, who i hate so much as an actor is one person against whom i dont say anything personal. the formula is very simple. criticize actors for bad acting and ‘oersons’ for bad deeds. and ranbeer is the best example of how i dont say personal things agaisnt an actor even if i hate his work. but ppl like akshay are louse actors and scum of the earth persons.

    • ank_16n said:

      Agar Salman ka Biggest fan Fan aise hote hai toh main bhagwan ka thanks karta hu…
      Ki main na toh kabhi Salman ko Pasand karta tha…
      Na karta hu….
      ab Aise Fans dekh ke
      Na kabhi banunga….

      These are my personal views and I Don’t want to Offend True Salman Fans…

  8. ank_16n said:

    “”louse actors and scum of the earth persons.””

    How can someone Steal my line –I also Think Same about the Worst Actor in the Universe Mr Spotboy Face.

  9. Dr.Nisheet said:

    @danish=dekho asli nanga insaan salman hijda…….your name suggest and means wht is true about your so called favpurite star….nothing to say more….

  10. Dr.Nisheet said:

    @danish=dekho asli nanga insaan salman hijda ke fan—-akshay has already changed date of khiladi786 frm diwali release……or salman to aisa RAN*v* hai ki vo waise to apni bhabhi ko nanga karke nachata hi hai par paiso aur publicity ke liye apni maa aur bahen ko KAMATIPURA man bech aaye……

    • ank_16n said:

      Proud be an Akkian……
      but feel Ashamed to see Biggest Fan of Salman khan like this….
      Feel sad for Rest of Salman Fans…..

  11. Dr.Nisheet said:

    i like akshay,salman and ajay devgan equally….ye gali to tere karan salman ko pad rahi hain…….ye sirf meri tere jaise HALKE insaan(??) ke liye hain…

  12. suprabh said:

    To be honest, I support Ajay. The guy never plays any games -he never has in his career. He has been that person who has been quietly doing his job for last 15-20 yrs in the industry .

  13. Beld said:

    “To be honest, I support Ajay. The guy never plays any games -he never has in his career.”

    lol. This is nothing but a publicity stunt – it had no legs. Problem with lot of these actors is that when they are not smart business people…and you have to be that to be a producer. This whole complaint was rubbish – YRF showed some brilliant planning and it is stupid of Ajay to even release SoS with JTHJ. People are getting too carried away – in India – there are 4 big stars in hrithik, salman, srk and aamir – none of the others stand a chance 99 times out of 100.

    • suprabh said:

      Beld– Agree about the business aspect of it… but then it does show that YRF are the ones who are actually afraid of competition here…when 3 idiots in 2009 with much lesser screens can do that business then cant JTHJ do the same with a couple of 100 screens less than what they already have. It just reflects their brilliant business sense (as you put it) plus their insecurities about their product.

  14. iitianWay said:

    pls refrain from wishing Best of luck to JTHJ….it already has lot of best things

    BEST OF LUCK TO SOS and SOS only!!

    //duyaae dawa banjaati hain..badduyaye barwaad kar deti hain//

    • ank_16n said:

      iitianWay—–Shahrukh said He is not dying in JTHJ…in his Interview…
      so ab Movie hit ya Flop…..????
      What do u Think???

      • iitianWay said:

        tab to pad gaye jaan ke laale and box office pe taale…140 cross nahin karegi….jinda rah ke srk ne movie ko marwa diya.

        ab bhi 5-6 din hain ..marwaane mein kya der lagti hain..ETT ko cross kar jaayegi..mein hi -2-3 baar dekh loonga..

  15. Krish said:

    I am SRK fan but i am with Ajay here. Ajay is not the kind of person who will create unnecessary controversies. But I know for a fact last year itself that JTHJ was coming this Diwali. So SOS definitely came on this date quite late in the day. So I would want to give the benefit of doubt to YRF. They r just benefitting from the first movers advantage. Nothing wrong in that IMO. And if JTHJ is a bad product and SOS is a good one, SOS will eventually do well.

  16. Engineer said:

    guys evryone here is saying dat ajay is not that kind of person who creates controversies for promotion..or he has nevr done dat in his whole career bcoz he has nevr been dat successful as he is now a days and he is nw thinking hmslf as the leagues of salman,srk and aamir….which he cnt be..and also he is the producer of d film

  17. mods said:

    Dr nisheet,

    you have been banned. Please open a ticket to know how and how much to pay up if you wish to get unbanned.

  18. Beld said:

    ‘ It just reflects their brilliant business sense (as you put it) plus their insecurities about their product’

    Couldnt disagree more. In fact – that statement makes no sense. Its called nipping something in the bud – it is brilliant planning. The best generals in the army are the ones who win battles without fighting them. What would you have YRF do? Give away screens to SOS and say lets see which movie runs more. Cmon – you seriously arent suggesting that – that is ridiculous business. As for 3idiots running on fewer screens – then are you suggesting every movie that releases from now should release with reduced screens as 3 idiots and then let movie decide how much it runs. What next – you would suggest let them just release it in Maratha Mandir and run it for 50 years so that it makes money.

    YRF went for the jugular with Ajay Devgan – and the truth is they have him by the jugular and by the balls. Ajay has shown that he is not a very smart businessman..period. Ajay may have made Son of Sardar – but YRF has shown him that they are the Baap of all sardars…

    • suprabh said:

      wow beld, some srk fan you are :D

      3 idiots example was to show that a LIKED movie does not need 5000 screens to break or set records (which is precisely the reason ETT is no big whoop)..the argument here is not whether YRF is securing most screens or not..The point is they are using salman’s stardom and Boxoffice pull to push srk…YRF wouldn’t have been in this situation, if they didn’t have ETT in the first place. If they were so confident they should have came to the fight with their movie and let the single screen exibitors decide which movie they want to screen. If those single screen owners lose money because of JTHJ, what would you call YRF– good businessmen or some selfish businessmen..and before you come up with some fraud logic of Profit is everything, let me tell you yrf can make money from a ton of other sources (shares/funds etc) but they are in the movie making industry which is primarily the culture of exibiting artform. So profit is not the only thing, art is a major factor too.

      The current scenario looks like– sell our underwear even if it has holes, because you know what–you don’t have a choice.

  19. Beld said:

    ‘wow beld, some srk fan you are’

    Thats what people say when they cant debate on the merits. I thought we were discussing Ajay Devgan vs YRF – where did SRK come into play here?

    Honestly – dont mean to sound harsh but your logic on business of movies makes no sense. Movie making industry is about making money using artform and not a NGO. Salman’s stardom to pull in SRK – what utter nonsense. I hope you dont get into the business of making movies – coz you arent going to make any money with the approach you suggest

  20. Beld said:

    and Suprabh — if there is ‘partisanship’ clouding any judgements – that seems to be coming from you. If YRF was using ETT to push JTHJ – dont you think that would be more because it is directed by Yash Chopra rather than it has SRK? Wouldnt that be common sense – if the owner is directing a movie – wouldnt that be the one they push. For you to get SRK into it…. well let people make their own judgements on who is partisan…

    • suprabh said:

      Okay Beld, Lets take your scenario- that they are trying to push yash chopra rather than srk (which is not the only reality). So does it still not proves that they used Salman’s stardom? You talked about war and generals..This looks like a Canada challenging an Iranian army because it has the US army backing it.. What did YRF do, they did not cut a fair deal with the single screen exibitors..Why would they not allow the screen owners to choose which movie they would want to screen…who will make up for the exibitor’s losses if the single screen audience doesnt give any bhaav to JTHJ

  21. rockie_EK THA TIGER said:

    Well today you can praise the business acumen of Yrf, but in few days they will get to taste their own medicine.

    From now on almost all biggies will start doing this, blocking screens and making combo deals for festival releases. Also be sure that these blocking of screens will be mostly done for big star movies like Salman, Aamir, Srk, Ajay D, HR and Akki.

    Yrf has only 1 biggie D3 in pipeline and after that they will be back to their Tier-3 star movies. I dont think any of the top 6 will feature in yrf movie anytime soon. So they are bound to get it back and most probably from Ajay D because of obvious reasons.

  22. rockie_EK THA TIGER said:

    @Beld: ” in India – there are 4 big stars in hrithik, salman, srk and aamir – none of the others stand a chance 99 times out of 100.”

    Ajay D – G3, Singham, Bol Bachchan 100cr +
    Akki – HF2, RR 100cr+
    HR – only 1 – 100cr movie till date – Agnipath.

    Then how come HR is in the list and Ajay and Akki are not?

  23. ranju said:

    I guess, 3 Idiots is a bad example. That sort of deal come once or twice in a decade. Now BW business model is to make as much money in opening week. Then eveything depends on film merit. I am not saying it is a good practice, but that how it is. I think, next aamir/Hirani film will release more screen than JTHJ.

  24. Beld said:

    Rockie – I think the answer is not based on no of 100cr movies – look at no of movies hrithik does vis a vis ajay or akshay and type of movies

    Hrithik’s only masala movie of last few years made more than Akshay or Ajay’s all other movies except RR. I am talking about star power and opening power. My suspicion has always been that Hrithik has the best opening power even including the Khans – if we makes the right kind of movie. Lets see how Krish3 opens – I think it will surpass all previous openings – save for Dabaang 2. I dont even know why Hrithik doesnt make more masala movies – but I guess he is very happy in his space and is not in the rat race like the others. More power to him

  25. RJ said:

    I think Ajay devgan should ve reacted and researched much earlier so that something about the issue could be done. Now it’s too late, and just an attempt at gaining sympathy.
    We at NG knew about this deal months back, I’m sure it would ve been common knowledge amongst the filmi circles. So an ignorance on his part, is totally his loss, and he’s the only one to be blamed.

    • mkt said:

      From the interview posted above,

      “”We have been fighting it with the exhibitors and distributors to the point that they could do anything and then we decided to go to the Competition Commission of India, which took us more than a month because it’s a lot of paperwork; it’s been going on for the past three months now. We tried to convey our messages through our exhibitors, but when that didn’t happen, we had to take this step.””

  26. Aditya007 said:

    “Hrithik’s only masala movie of last few years made more than Akshay
    or Ajay’s all other movies except RR. ”
    CAN U tell me How many have masala Movies Done by Akshay Kumar in recent time ? Answer- Its Only RR ,which had created many Non-Holiday Recard i.e best Opening ,best weekend [Even beat Your Agneepath ,which released at National Holiday] ,Best Lifetime Collection. And even If You have said about Krrish 3 ,then Dont Forget About OUTIAM2 which have More BuzZ than Krrish3. And also will Say that Hrithik release One Movie in duration of 1-2 Year Gap normaly ,while Akshay Have just Opposite it.

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