"Dilwale" and "Bajirao Mastani" box office clash has taken a legal twist as distributor of the latter has reportedly filed a case against single screen theatres that will be screening the Shah Rukh Khan starrer, causing a contractual breach.
It was reported that "Bajirao Mastani" distributor Eros International had signed a contract with several single screen owners during the release of "Tanu Weds Manu Returns". According to the contract, all those silver screen theatres are bound to screen only "Bajirao Mastani" for at least the first one week of its release.
Thus, Sanjay Leela Bhansali's directorial "Bajirao Mastani" has got an upper hand at most of the single screen theatres, while "Dilwale" distributor PVR Cinemas booked most of the multiplexes from 18 December.
However, the latest reports suggest that many single screen theatres have decided to screen "Dilwale" as well, owing to high public demand. This has irked the makers of "Bajirao Mastani", starring Ranveer Singh, Deepika Padukone and Priyanka Chopra, and Sunil Lulla of Eros International has reportedly filed a case against all those single screen theatres at the Bombay High Court.
"Rahul Aksar(who is also a distributor of Dilwale) opened the advance booking of the SRK starrer in his Churchgate theatre. Inder Raj Kapoor did the same in his theatre Excelsior. A few others like Vinay Choksi (Gaiety, Galaxy) were about to follow the suit. News reached Lulla, who swung into action to safeguard his interests," 9XE.com quoted a source as saying.
Apparently, the single screen owners fear that they might have to bear the loss if Shah Rukh's "Dilwale" does well at box office and "Bajirao Mastani" gets a cold business.
"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? These guys will fight the case based on the loopholes, if any, in the contract. If they lose the case, they will have no option but to release only Bajirao in all four shows," the source added.
Hearing of the court case will be held on the day of the two films' release, 18 December evening.