The dinosaur Salaar stands no chance against Dunki, reckon SRK fans
Hombale Films is yet to make an announcement confirming the latest rumour about the release of their next – director Prashant Neel’s Prabhas-led Salaar Ceasefire – regarding a possible December 22 theatrical release. But with pretty much every trade expert worth his salt discussing the business implications of such a move, it seems more or less confirmed that Prabhas will take Shah Rukh Khan head-on as Salaar clashes with Dunki.
This unofficial confirmation has let to a barrage of posts from Shah Rukh and Prabhas fans with each side claiming supremacy on December 22. With two back-to-back Rs 1000-crore box office monsters (Pathan and Jawan), Shah Rukh appears to have the tactical advantage. Prabhas has not had a hit in a while and confidence levels in Prashant are on the decline owing to the Salaar postponement and the rumours that the film is a remake of his debut venture Ugramm. Shah Rukh fans have been flooding social media with posts accompanied with video grabs from King Kong, wherein the giant ape pummels T-Rexes and rips their jaws apart, as well as from the more recent Meg 2: the Trench, in which a T-Rex becomes a megalodon’s snack. This is, of course in reference to the Salaar teaser in which Prabhas’ Salaar has been likened to a dinosaur in Jurassic Park.
Ever since it was announced that Salaar was vacating the September 28 slot owing to ‘delays in post-production’, multiple alternate dates have been speculated as options, with December 22 always listed as a likely candidate. This was, after all, a date that the production house was looking at for the launchpad of Yuva Rajkumar and it was thought that given its previous history of only shuffling its own schedule (Salaar’s earlier April 14, 2022 went to KGF: Chapter 2), the banner would not cause too much disruption and use a date it has already blocked. Trade experts and netizens reckon that a Dunki vs Salaar clash is not in the best interest of the latter, given that the south does not contribute majorly towards box office figures of Hindi films. Salaar, they add, will, therefore, miss out on a major chunk of business from the north Indian and overseas market, as Rajkumar Hirani’s film has positive word-of-mouth publicity going for it. Also, in the overseas market, Aquaman 2 will also be a crowd puller.
Will Hombale Films still go ahead and test waters on December 22 or move to a safer date in early 2024? Well, if the buzz in industry circles is anything to go by, we will know by the end of the week.