Bollywood Buzz

Salman to lock his Mental with Abhinav & Ranbir’s Besharam

His next Mental which went on floors yesterday, won’t release on Eid but most probably October 2

For many years now, it’s been the norm for Salman Khan starrers to release on Eid. His last three films – Wanted, Bodyguard and Ek Tha Tiger – all of which hit theatres on Eid, went on to become big box office hits.

For the first time however, the actor has decided to buck the trend. We’ve learnt his next titled Mental, produced by brother Sohail Khan, won’t release on Eid this year as decided earlier. Instead, it will open sometime in October, most probably October 2.

Apparently, the reason for the change in plan was that the brothers didn’t want to rush into things with the film having gone on floors just yesterday. But if sources are to be believed, it may also have something to do with Abhinav Kashyap’s Ranbir Kapoor-starrer Besharam releasing around the same time.

A source close to the project told TOI, “It’s after a long hiatus, and schedules and re-schedules that sets have been erected in Dubai for Mental. It isn’t going to be easy for Salman to release the film on Eid this year. Rather than hurry up, Salman and Sohail have decided to release the film in October, which too has long weekends. It’s tentatively scheduled for an October 2 release.”

But wouldn’t Mental then clash with Abhinav’s Besharam? “By releasing the film on October 2, Salman would also manage to ruffle feathers in Abhinav and Ranbir’s camps,” said the source.

Readers may recall Salman hasn’t shared a good equation with Abhinav ever since the latter turned down his offer to direct the sequel to Dabangg. As for Ranbir, he happens to be dating Salman’s ex-girlfriend Katrina Kaif.

Meanwhile, Shah Rukh Khan seems to have benefited from Salman’s decision. Traditionally, his films have always opened during the Diwali holidays but this time round, he was keen that Rohit Shetty directed Chennai Express hit theatres on Eid. With Salman and Sohail changing the release date of Mental, Shah Rukh’s wish is likely to come true.

Despite repeated attempts, Sohail remained unavailable for comment.

Meanwhile… In Rajini’s league?
Salman Khan-starrer Ek Tha Tiger, produced by Yash Raj Films, which hit Indian screens on August 15, will now release in Japan on March 7.

Director Kabir Khan will be flying to Japan on March 3 and will be touring four cities.

According to a source close to Salman, until now, Japan hasn’t been a very big market for Indian films, except for films starring Rajinikanth, who happens to have a huge fan following there. “Perhaps Salman can now be equated to Rajinikanth in terms of popularity. Which is why Ek Tha Tiger is releasing there,” the source said.

Asked about his trip, Kabir said, “This will be my second Japan trip. I went there in 1998; it was a two-days stop over when I was making a documentary. It will be fun to revisit and watch the audience reaction.”

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