PadMan, Sidharth Malhotra
PadMan stills, Sidharth MalhotraMovie Stills/ Instagram

A few days ago, Sidharth Malhotra expressed his displeasure on the unfortunate box office clash between his upcoming film Aiyaary and Akshay Kumar starrer PadMan on February 9. While talking about the clash, Sidharth also took a dig at PadMan team for locking release dates with Aiyaary again and again. However, it looks like his outrage has not gone down really well with PadMan director R Balki.

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"I don't know what he's so irritated about. We had to shift from the Republic Day weekend to another day — another Friday — to make way for a film that has been troubled, and needed release space much more urgently than we did. We moved on humanitarian grounds, and not because we wanted to clash with Aiyaary once again. I thought that was clear to everyone," an infurated Balki was quoted as saying by Deccan Chronicle.

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Aiyaary was supposed to release on January 26 and clash with PadMan earlier. But when Padmaavat release date was announced, the makers of Aiyaary shifted their release date to February 9, thus avoiding a massive clash. And now, since Akshay has pushed the release date of PadMan to February 9, Aiyaary will once again face competition from the film.

Sidharth, who has been struggling to get a hit at the box office, was quite upset with the constant fluctuation of locking and shifting of the release dates.

"Yes, it irritates, but now it's too late. What can we do now? Look, we announced the date first. When 'PadMan' makers unveiled their release date, we were gracious enough to shift our release date to avoid the clash. This situation could have resolved earlier, people could have stuck to their dates, respecting others' space. I was not expecting the makers of 'PadMan' to release their film with us, especially the second time. We thought we will get a solo release. See, eventually the fate of the film will speak for itself. We are confident about our film, it has its audience. Now that we cannot change anything, we can hope for the best," Sidharth told IANS.

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However, Balki took a moment to dismiss the claims made by Sidharth that the Aiyaary team had announced its release date first before PadMan.

"I'd like to gently correct Sidharth. We had announced the release of PadMan for Republic Day, before Aiyaary. We had no problem with Aiyaary coming in, later, during the same weekend. So now why would they have a problem with us releasing on February 9? We are not releasing with Aiyaary. We would release on February 9, regardless of who else is coming along on that date or not," Balki said.

While the filmmaker is aware of the flux in Bollywood and the limited number of screens across the country, Balki, who has been in the filmmaking business for a long time, made a point that rather than fighting over Friday up-manships, they should all find a way to co-exist.

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"Let's not fight over Friday up-manships. We should all find a way to co-exist. Only then can we avoid the kind of attack Padmaavat had to face. I don't understand why Sidharth should feel threatened by PadMan. Aiyaary and PadMan are two different entities; they can't be seen as competitors," Balki summed up his argument over the issue.

While it will be interesting to see PadMan and Aiyaary clashing at the box office, it remains to be seen whether the makers of the two films will be able to acquire an equal number of screens across India to showcase the film in theatres.