Dunki vs Salaar: Single-screen operators are upset that they can only alternate between the two movies; they must select one.

Showdown at the Cinemas: The Unprecedented Clash Between Dunki vs Salaar

In the fast-paced world of Bollywood, clashes between big-budget movies at the box office are not uncommon. However, the recent clash between Dunki and Salaar, both released in the same week, has taken the industry by storm. The drama began when Salaar makers decided to pull their film from major multiplex chains, including PVR Inox and Miraj properties in the South, citing ‘unfair trade practices.’ This move sent shockwaves through the industry, leading to a series of unexpected events.

Dunki vs Salaar
What was expected to be a routine negotiation turned into a viral sensation, with Salaar initially withdrawing from key cinema chains. However, thanks to the impact of a breaking news article, all parties involved were forced back to the negotiating table. The result? A compromise that didn’t involve the typical show-sharing arrangement. Instead, exhibitors were faced with a dilemma: choose to play either Dunki or Salaar.

A survey of Mumbai’s single-screen cinema halls reveals a surprising trend—none of them are sharing shows. The list of theaters playing Dunki includes PVR Le Reve Bandra, MovieTime Star City, Ajanta Cinema Cinex Borivali, Kasturba Malad, Gold Dadar, Roxy, Inox Thakur Movie, MovieMax Andheri East, MovieMax Goregaon West, Chitra, Regal, and Bahar. On the other side, Maratha Mandir, Citylight, Inox Nakshatra Dadar, Mukta A2 Orion Santa Cruz, Premier Gold, Plaza, Paradise, Gold Thane, Gold Borivali, Anand Cinema Thane, Movie Time Dahisar, New Excelsior, Movie Time Suburbia, and MovieMax Kandivali have opted for Salaar.

In an unexpected turn of events, Gopi Cinema in Dombivali has taken a bold stance by shunning both Dunki and Salaar altogether. Instead, the cinema is offering two shows of Animal and two shows of the Marathi film Jhimma 2. This move not only adds an amusing twist to the clash but also highlights the unpredictability of the situation.

An industry insider revealed, “The team of Salaar were okay with sharing shows. However, Dunki’s distributors made it very plain that not a single show could be handed to Salaar; instead, you had to screen every showing of their movie. Hence, exhibitors had no choice but to opt for one film.” This revelation underscores the challenges faced by exhibitors caught in the crossfire of this clash.

An exhibitor from North India, who wished to remain anonymous, described his predicament as follows: “I am showing Dunki, and it’s performing great. But I would have loved to have taken on Salaar. I have been getting so many inquiries since yesterday. It’s a film that suits the taste of my target audience. Dunki and Salaar may have had a calm performance if they had clashed and shared shows like Gadar 2 and OMG 2.

Meanwhile, in a shocking development, the afternoon show of Dunki in Maratha Mandir was not played as the KDM (Key Delivery Message) wasn’t issued. Executive Director Manoj Desai had to refund the amount to the patrons. To compensate for the setback, Animal was played in the evening and night shows, and from today, Salaar will be played in three shows. Desai commented, “Agar distributors aisa karenge, toh hamare sab ke din bhar gaye hai” (If distributors behave this way, then our days are numbered).

The clash between Dunki and Salaar has left exhibitors grappling with uncertainties. Salaar, distributed by AA Films, has created a sense of apprehension among those who opted for Dunki. There is a fear that AA Films may retaliate and not allow them to showcase the next big film it distributes. An industry insider recalled a similar situation in the past when AA Films distributed Shah Rukh Khan’s Raees, which clashed with Hrithik Roshan’s Kaabil. Mumbai’s Chandan Cinema and Central Plaza opted for Kaabil and had to suffer when AA Films didn’t allow them to showcase Baahubali 2, resulting in significant losses.

Dunki vs Salaar: Single-screen operators are upset that they can only alternate between the two movies; they must select one.
As the clash between Dunki and Salaar unfolds, the repercussions are felt not only in Mumbai but across various cinema centers in India. The industry is left to ponder whether this clash will set a precedent for future clashes or whether it’s an isolated incident fueled by unique circumstances.

In the ever-evolving landscape of Bollywood, where box office battles are part and parcel of the game, the Dunki vs. Salaar clash stands out as a case study in the delicate dance between filmmakers, distributors, and exhibitors. Only time will tell how this clash shapes the future dynamics of the Indian film industry and whether show-sharing will become a casualty of unprecedented events like these.

As the Dunki vs. Salaar clash continues to unfold, the reverberations are not limited to Mumbai alone; they extend across various cinema centers in India. This clash has become more than just a competition for box office supremacy; it’s a reflection of the intricate relationships and power dynamics within the film industry.

The situation raises crucial questions about the balance of power between filmmakers, distributors, and exhibitors. The traditional practice of show-sharing, where two big films agree to coexist in the same cinema, seems to have been replaced by a more assertive approach from the distributors of Dunki. The insistence on exclusive screenings for Dunki puts exhibitors in a tight spot, forcing them to make a binary choice.

The decision by Gopi Cinema in Dombivali to opt out of both Dunki and Salaar and instead showcase Animal and the Marathi film Jhimma 2 adds an interesting twist to the narrative. It signals a certain level of frustration or defiance against the constraints imposed by the clash. This move not only showcases the unpredictable nature of the film business but also suggests that exhibitors are willing to explore alternative options when faced with rigid demands.

The impact of the clash is not limited to the immediate box office results of Dunki and Salaar. It has highlighted the vulnerability of exhibitors who fear potential repercussions from distributors, as seen in the case of AA Films and their past actions with Baahubali 2. The memories of previous clashes and the resulting consequences linger, influencing exhibitors’ decisions and possibly shaping future negotiations.

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The afternoon show mishap at Maratha Mandir, where Dunki couldn’t be screened due to the absence of a Key Delivery Message, underscores the technical intricacies that exhibitors navigate. Such unforeseen issues can have a significant impact on a film’s performance and, subsequently, on the relationship between distributors and exhibitors.

The clash also brings to the forefront the evolving dynamics of the Indian film industry. With each clash, the industry has an opportunity to learn and adapt. The Dunki vs. Salaar clash may prompt a reevaluation of the traditional model of show-sharing and lead to discussions about establishing more transparent and fair practices for future clashes.

In the midst of the chaos, the audience is often the silent observer. Moviegoers, eagerly anticipating the release of both Dunki and Salaar, find themselves caught in the crossfire of this industry showdown. The question of whether this clash will impact their movie-watching experience, and whether it will influence their future choices at the box office, remains unanswered.

As the Dunki vs. Salaar saga unfolds, industry stakeholders, including filmmakers, distributors, and exhibitors, must reflect on the broader implications of their decisions. The clash is not just a battle for screen space; it’s a reflection of the underlying power dynamics and negotiations that shape the cinematic landscape.

In the coming days, the fate of Dunki and Salaar at the box office will be closely watched. Equally intriguing will be the aftermath of this clash—how exhibitors recover, how distributors respond, and whether the industry learns from this experience. The Dunki vs. Salaar clash is not just a momentary spectacle; it’s a chapter in the ongoing narrative of the ever-evolving and unpredictable world of Indian cinema.

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