The much-anticipated Prabhas action film Salaar is set for a major box office clash with Shah Rukh Khan’s Dunki this week. With two of Indian cinema’s biggest stars facing off, tensions have flared over screen allotments and advance bookings.
Salaar Withdraws from Key Multiplex Chains in South
In a dramatic turn of events just days before release, Salaar producers announced the film will not release in PVR, INOX and Miraj cinema chains across Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.
The makers allege Salaar has been allotted far fewer shows than Dunki in these territories despite having more demand. A spokesperson said “We want the game to be fair” and strongly hinted Salaar may skip a theatrical release altogether in areas where it does not get fair treatment.
This aggressive stance has set the stage for a tense box office showdown between the two December 23 releases.
Dunki Distributors Refuse to Share Screens
Meanwhile, distributors in North India are also playing hardball to secure screens for Dunki. Reports suggest many have outright refused requests to allocate shows for Salaar, aiming to capitalize on Shah Rukh Khan’s star power.
Although Salaar is unlikely to release in Hindi markets on December 23 as planned, the move indicates distributors are unwilling to cede any screen space whatsoever to the competing Prabhas film.
Salaar’s Opening Collections Set for ₹30 Crore
Despite the screening debacle, expectations are sky-high from Prabhas’ next after Baahubali.
|Andhra Pradesh & Telangana
|Rest of India
Buoyed by tremendous advances of ₹2 crore in the US, Salaar is tipped to break opening day records set by KGF 2 and Baahubali 2 earlier this year.
With over 1.2 lakh tickets sold already, Salaar seems assured of a ₹20 crore start just in its home states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.
Dunki Lags in Advances Despite Distributor Confidence
In contrast, the Hindi version of Dunki has seen relatively modest advances so far. With little over 50,000 tickets sold, the film is on track for an opening day of ₹12-15 crore.
*As of December 19
While respectable figures, it falls well short of Salaar’s phenomenal advances. Dunki is relying primarily on walk-ins from Shah Rukh Khan fans rather than pre-release buzz.
Some trade experts predict Salaar’s youthful appeal gives it an edge over the family-oriented Dunki for mass centers, at least in South territories.
Producer Downplays Clash – “Don’t Want Things to be Ugly”
Speaking on the tensions over screening allotments, Salaar producer Vijay Kiragandur struck a conciliatory tone:
“We only want what is fair. We have worked very hard for this film and want it to succeed. But we also want a healthy industry ecosystem – we don’t want things to turn ugly.”
“There is space for every film to thrive. At the end of the day the audience should get to watch the content they want. I’m hopeful we can resolve this amicably.”
His sentiments were echoed by PVR CEO Kamal Gianchandani, who denied allegations of unfair practices and said “everything will fall into place.”
Trade Experts Divided on Box Office Winner
With Salaar withdrawing from PVR/INOIX in the South, trade experts are split on which film will come out on top.
Renowed analyst Girish Wankhede predicts Dunki will dominate in North India thanks to Shah Rukh Khan’s star power. However Salaar’s dominance in mass pockets of AP/Telangana gives it the advantage in South territories.
Others point to Salaar’s lower screen count as a key factor, especially if PVR/INOIX continue to limit shows. Much depends on how aggressively Salaar producers push for screen allotments in the coming days.
Either way, the stage is set for an epic box office clash that is keeping tinseltown on edge. Whether it turns out to be healthy competition or ugly politics, movie buffs will be glued to advance reports as the release date nears.
Stay tuned right here at Entertainment Times for all the latest updates on the Salaar vs Dunki box office battle!
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