‘Jab Tak Hai Jaan’ and ‘Son of Sardaar’ makers slug it out!

JTHJ and SOS at loggerheads as release date approaches. Ajay Devgn Films sends notice to Yash Raj Films for ‘armtwisting’ distributors. YRF lashes back. Here’s the big picture…

It’s going to be a firecracker of a Diwali. With SRK and Ajay Devgn all set to clash with each other at the box office, the latter recently sent a ‘legal notice’ apparently accusing the makers of JTHJ Yash Raj Films of manipulating the distributors to allocate higher number of screens for their film. YRF however claims that the ‘legal notice’ was not issued by any court, and simply was a letter of intimation from the lawyers. The war of words appears to be far from over…

Ajay Devgn’s letter to Yash Raj Films states that a formal complaint has been lodged with the Competition Commission of India (CCI) against YRF. However, an official spokesperson of the studio states, “We have only received a letter from Ajay Devgn’s lawyer. It is not a notice!”

Straight talk
In their defence, the representatives of YRF also claim, “When we approached the theatre owners earlier this year, they were more than happy to accommodate JTHJ, owing to their long relationship with the production house. No one was forced to include our film in their theatres.” Incidentally, some of the exhibitors who screened Ek Tha Tiger have apparently chosen not to show JTHJ at all.

Date drama
In their statement to the media, the studio also states that whole JTHJ had announced its release date way back on June 27 last year, the makers of SOS only announced its release date on May 29 this year. The official statement adds, “It would seem odd if the makers of SOS expect YRF to wait for them to make their plans and then approach the exhibitors.” Well, all we can say is that may the best man win!

Ajay Devgn is clearly upset. While Devgn claims that he has filed a case against YRF, and the late Yash Chopra’s studio claiming that they are yet to receive the notice, the battle lines are clearly drawn. With hardly 10 days to go before both the films clash at the box office, it is just the beginning of a series of serves and volleys.

While YRF has been stating that there are 10,500 single screens in the country and they have only booked 1,500, the official spokesperson of Ajay Devgn Films says, “It is strange and surprising that someone as reputed as YRF come up with these fictional numbers. Especially, when more than 50 per cent of these theatres are in centres that screen only regional cinema.

If that was the case they never would have made a joint agreement of Ek Tha Tiger in the first place as no one has ever heard of over 3,000 screens booked for any film in the country. It is a clear indication that exhibitors are arm twisted in booking JTHJ with Ek Tha Tiger.”

The makers of ‘Jab Tak Hai Jaan’ claim
>> Yash Raj Films says they have not received any notice from the court but just a letter from the lawyers representing Ajay Devgn.
>> While Ek Tha Tiger released in 1,700 screens, JTHJ will release only across 1,500 screens.
>> It’s a common practice in India and abroad to sign a bulk distribution deal for a complete bouquet of films from a production house for a particular year. While on an average Eros (distributor) and Viacom (producer) makes and releases 27 films per year, we are only releasing four films a year.

Makers of the ‘Son of Sardar’ claim
>> They have indeed filed a case against Yash Raj Films for armtwisting the exhibitors into booking theatres for Jab Tak Hai Jaan in return of their Eid release Ek Tha Tiger.
>> The difference between the allocation of the films at the single screentheatres in all the centres is as big as 80 per cent to 90 per cent for Jab Tak Hai Jaan and 10 to 20 per cent only for Son of Sardar.
>> The claim to 10,000 single screens in India is false and baseless and the whole fight is not about multiplexes but single screens.

11 Comments
  1. Baba Ji
    Baba Ji 8 years ago

    This is a below the belt malpractice by JTHJ. I am surprised why they had to go to this level to fight an ajay devgan remake of south film.

    • Avatar Author
      mate 8 years ago

      I don’t think it’s a malpractice, but whatever Ajay is doing now, is totally in bad intention. Why he kept silent over the period, when he knew it very well that Yrf are in fix with exibitors from the release date of ETT. And the other thing is that they only pick and choose some SS theatres where they are comparatively much lesser screens or say, ignorable to get sympathy of media, If that’s the case with all the single screens, how they be able to get more than 1600 screens. So this stretegy is only to grab some eye-balls, they know very well that they have no chance in front of JTHJ.
      I don’t think Yrf go to any level, JTHJ is as big a movie as ETT and even bigger, knowing the names involved in this project, but still It hardly be able to get more than 500 screens less than ETT. So they get what they rightfully deserve and same for Ajay.

      • Baba Ji
        Baba Ji 8 years ago

        It is difficult but if ADF can get some materialistic proof or exhibitor witness for the blackmailing done by yrf to screen ett on the condition that they book screens for jthj,then SOS can totally ruin jthj’s party.

    • Avatar
      sputnik 8 years ago

      YRF announced long back they were releasing JTHJ on Diwali. ADF announced later that they are releasing SOS on same date. Weekend and extended weekends are very important in today’s BO scenario. Anyone who thinks two movies releasing on same day don’t hurt each other is talking BS. Some people give examples of Gadar and Lagaan that is so 2001.

      JTHJ is the bigger film based on director and starcast. So expecting equal number of screens is nonsense. ADF intention seems to just dent the BO of JTHJ nothing more.

      • Baba Ji
        Baba Ji 8 years ago

        yes but blackmailing exhibitors to book screens for jthj in return for ett is cheating. It is not proved yet but it seems to be true.How? Because even that yrf PR article on boxofficecapsule says there is 15% increase in jthj screens than normal case.That 15% increase credit goes to the ett blackmail.

        https://www.boxofficecapsule.com/news-specific.aspx?news_id=1851

      • Avatar
        Ritz 8 years ago

        “ADF intention seems to just dent the BO of JTHJ nothing more.”

        LOL

        @Sputnik – you really meant this? That line belongs to a die-hard SRK fan – and you are not one – are you? 😀

        I am not fan of both of movies and not looking forward to any of these. But IMO you are wrong on below points:

        u r missing 2 Important points

        1) ADF declared first release date.
        2) “Weekend and extended weekends are very important in today’s BO scenario”
        >>>Most imp point is YRF has reserved for 2 weeks at a stretch.

        • Avatar
          sputnik 8 years ago

          From the trailers so far both movies don’t interest me either. I am looking forward to Talaash more based on the theatrical trailer. I did not like the songs of Talaash much but I am thinking these will be in the background only and anyways songs dont matter much in a suspense movie. I would prefer a song less Talaash instead.

          I think YRF announced the Diwali release date first if I am not wrong. They said its a Diwali release when they announced the launch itself. Here is a link from their site dated 27 June 2011.

          “The film is scheduled for a Diwali 2012 release, the festive time when Yash Chopra movies over the years have lit up homes worldwide.”

          https://www.yashrajfilms.com/News/NewsDetails.aspx?Typeid=&newsid=e5db0f1c-3a5b-443f-bfb5-60cbbbebcf5d

          There is no big movie releasing the week after JTHJ release. With Talaash releasing two weeks later all or majority of the shows will go to Talaash anyways unless JTHJ turns out to be great.

        • Avatar
          sputnik 7 years ago

          Yash Raj Film’s Press release

          Yash Raj Films once again totally vindicated in case filed by Ajay Devgn Films
          15 November 2013

          COMPETITION APPELLATE TRIBUNAL DISMISSES CASE

          It is befitting that The Competition Tribunal dismissed the appeal filed by ADF against the order of the Competition Commission exactly a year since Jab Tak Hai Jaan released on 13th November 2012.

          After the COMPETITION COMMISSION had dismissed the complaint filed by AJAY DEVGN FILMS (ADF) on the basis that they were of the opinion that there was no contravention of the Act in this case, the COMPETITION APPELLATE TRIBUNAL, in a order of 8th November 2012, also refused to pass any interim order against YASH RAJ FILMS (YRF) on the ground that the complainant had not put forward sufficient facts to establish that YRF had violated the Competition Act.

          A completely misleading press release was put out by ADF alleging that an enquiry had been set up to look into ‘the anti-competitive activities of YRF’ since the Competition Appellate Tribunal had not found any merit in the contention of ADF because the Tribunal was of the view that ADF had totally failed to establish that the agreements entered into by YRF with the single screens cinemas would cause any appreciable adverse effect on competition. It was also noted by the Tribunal that YRF had announced the release of its film on 27th June 2011 with its announcement of the release of its film for Diwali 2012 and commenced booking of single screen theatres in June, July & Aug 2012. On the contra, ADF announced the release of its film only on 29th May 2012 and approached the single screen owners only in October 2012 by which time YRF had taken a lead. It was expressly noted that the number of screens contracted for JAB TAK HAI JAAN, being far less than that of EK THA TIGER, prima facie no case of adverse effect on competition, much less appreciable effect on competition, was made out.

          Despite several media queries at that time, YRF had maintained a strict media silence while the matter was pending before the competent judicial authorities, deeming it inappropriate to comment on the matter while it was before the judicial authorities. YRF has never desired nor manipulated such unethical publicity as a film promotional device for itself.

          It is unfortunate that our refusal to comment had led to aspersions being cast on YRF’s business practises, which have always been ethical and of the highest standards.

          On 13th November 2013, after considering and dismissing individually all the points raised by the Appellant, AJAY DEVGN FILMS (ADF), the Honourable Chairman, Justice V. S. Sirpurkar and the other Honourable Members of the Coram, Shri Rahul Sarin & Mrs. Pravin Tripathi, concluded that “there is no merit in this appeal and this appeal must be dismissed”.

          Let’s put to rest once and for all that YRF has, and will always, adopt the best business practices… and will continue to do so, jab tak hai jaan!

          Link

  2. Avatar Author
    mate 8 years ago

    Moreover, I think ADF want to get same screen space or even bigger than what Yrf get, and they can only do this either by giving wrong data regarding number of screens or showing areas where they have much lesser screens comparatively, though overall they have already as much as 1600 screens in their kitty. But showing one side of the coin, their aim is to reduce screen space for JTHJ, and damage it as much as they can, clearly show their bad intention.
    But knowing the fact that D:3 is Yrf’s next big release and perhaps the biggest of their house, I don’t think any exhibitor can go against Yrf.

  3. Avatar
    Serenzy 8 years ago

    Infact, I Genuinely Think this is a Devious Plot Formulated by YRF-Devgn-SRK so that “Noise” is Made for Both Movies.

  4. Avatar
    sauravjha 8 years ago

    Here’s what Ajay said recently about the legal notice and SRK :-

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