Many single screen owners are saying they would be unfair to their patrons if they screen only Bajirao Mastani and not Dilwale from December 18.
Today, however, they might have to eat humble pie in Bombay High Court for giving in to the demand. According to the latest reports Bajirao Mastani producer Sunil Lulla of Eros has sent out a legal notice to all such screens and even promptly filed a case in Bombay High Court. The hearing is slated for today at 4.30 pm.
A source says, "Yesterday Rahul Aksar (who is also a distributor of Dilwale) opened the advance booking of the SRK starrer in his Churchgate theatre Eros. Inder Raj Kapoor did the same in his theatre Excelsior. A few others like Vinay Choksi (Gaiety, Galaxy) were about to follow suit. News reached Lulla, who swung into action to safeguard his interests. Lulla did no wrong because Aksar and Kapoor have at least 300 single screens between them in Bombay Circuit. If they are allowed to get away, many other players will also jump onto the bandwagon."
The contract was violated simply because single screen owners have developed cold feet over releasing only Bajirao. Reveals the source, "If Dilwale does well and Bajirao does not, they would stand to lose a lot of money. That's their worry. And who wouldn't like to safeguard his business interests?"
A leading exhibitor (on request of anonymity) adds, "Tomorrow's Bombay High Court verdict will play a substantial role in the collections of both films. This heady clash is getting interesting by the minute."