Shah Rukh Khan's upcoming film "Happy New Year" (HNY) is all set to clash with Tamil actor Vijay's "Kaththi" at the box office.
"HNY" was slated to hit the screens on 23 October as a Diwali treat for SRK's fans. Latest reports suggest that the action-comedy drama will be released on 24 October. Thus, it will be locking horns with the Tamil film "Kaththi", which is also scheduled to release on the same day.
"HNY" makers will be trageting a grand release all over India as well as in overseas markets. While the film is likely to dominate screens in north India, it might be facing some difficulty to get enough number of screens in south India.
Vijay enjoys immense popularity in Tamil Nadu and Kerala. "Kaththi" is one of the most-awaited films of 2014 as Ilayathalapathy has teamed up with director A. R. Murugadoss for the second time post the stupendous success of "Thuppakki" ("Holiday" in Hindi).
The makers of "Kaththi" will be hoping to release the film in good number of screens worldwide owing to the actor's popularity. Fifteen percent of the total revenue earned by Vijay's films come from outside the Tamil Nadu market, according to Sify.
Theatre owners in Tamil Nadu and Kerala are likely to give preference to "Kaththi" over "Happy New Year". However, the action entertainer might be facing huge competition from the SRK starrer in other states and overseas markets.
Experts say that a big Tamil film should have a solo release to make better collections in the international markets. Since "Kaththi" is releasing on the same day as "Happy New Year", the business might get affected in some key markets like the US, UK and Australia. It will be interesting to see how these films perform in terms of box office collections.
Meanwhile, SRK also commands a huge fan following across India and overseas locations. The actor's Hindi films have performed great business in south India as well. His 2013 release "Chennai Express" was a big hit down south, and is the highest grossing Hindi film in south India, according to the film's director Rohit Shetty, reported TOI.
Many factors worked in favour of "Chennai Express" helping it to perform exceptionally well at the south Indian box office, including the film's south connection, aggressive promotional activities and the lungi dance, which was a tribute to superstar Rajinikanth.
The SRK- Deepika Padukone starrer was supposed to clash with Vijay's "Thalaivaa". However, the Tamil film was mired in some controversy, which delayed its release in Tamil Nadu, though it hit theatres on the scheduled date in other south Indian states.
Due to the delay, several theatres in TN allotted some of "Thalaivaa" slots for "Chennai Express", which also worked in the film's favour. The film took a grand opening in the state as it did not face any big competition from other releases.
The Bollywood entertainer also did a good business in Kerala, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, despite locking horns with "Thalaivaa." The Vijay starrer turned out to be an average grosser, while "Chennai Express" achieved blockbuster status.
However, it remains to be seen as to who will rule the box office this Diwali season.