For Eid next year, it is Salman Khan versus Akshay Kumar at the box-office. As Salman starts shooting for Prabhudheva’s Radhe: Your Most Wanted Bhai as his Eid 2020 release, Akshay Kumar also works his way through his horror thriller Laaxmi Bomb for the same coveted date. The sheer uniqueness of Akshay’s project where he plays a transgender may prove the USP of Laaxmi Bomb. But then Salman is Salman.
Says trade guru Taran Adarsh, “Radhe versus Laxmmi Bomb... Salman Khan versus Akshay Kumar... It can't get any bigger than that... Two biggies arriving on a festival is a common occurrence. In fact, we had multiple biggies clashing during Diwali in the 1970s and 1980s. Over the years, the festivals witnessed solo releases most of the times. Not anymore.”
Taran feels such a festive clash is inevitable. “We have 52 weeks in a year and with so many films including biggies in the pipeline, a clash cannot be averted. Salman and Akshay are big stars and the clash will be looked forward to even more minutely because, Eid, over the years, was synonymous with Salman. This clash is special and let the best one win. If both films work, it would only pave way for more clashes in future.”
Adds trade analyst Atul Mohan, “This will be a huge and interesting clash to look out for. Both Salman and AK have delivered the maximum number 100-crore movies and are neck to neck in the count. Radhe and Laaxmi Bomb are helmed by choreographers turned actors turned directors Prabhu deva and Raghava Lawrence. Both films are remakes, one of a South Indian film and the other of a Korean film. Eid is synonymous with a Salman and for the first time someone else is trying to enter that domain. AK had earlier announced Sooryavnshi as his Eid 2020 release but later postponed his project ,as at that time it was to clash with Inshaallah. Now with the Bhansali film shelved Radhe is coming with Laaxmi Bomb.”
Atul feels there is room for two blockbusters during a festive week. “The box office of both will be divided and there is no doubt about it. But it has been seen that two films can do huge business when they opted to come on same Friday but on condition that content of both should be liked.”
Trade expert Girish Johar has a hunch that both the film will hit the jackpot. “Both Radhe and Laaxmi Bomb coming on Eid 2020.I am sure the box-office will explode. Akshay Kumar is on a career high and has given back-to-back hits. He is dabbling with various genres successfully, giving the right mix to his fans and ensuring that he leaves them asking for more. Coming three to four times a year, Akshay is veritable one-man industry.”
Girish feels Laaxmi Bomb has an added advantage . “LB is again horror-action-drama zone, a new genre for Hindi audiences and is also an official remake of the Tamil blockbuster Kanchana. The first look has been loved by all and nailed the excitement-level to a peak. On the other hand, Salman Khan is maintaining his hold on the Eid slot and coming up with hard-core sleek action with style in Radhe. His fans love him to the core and the first look has made fans go crazy. At the box office , it will be mayhem this Eid 2020.Akshay will surely have its economics in place and with Salman firepower I am sure both will do well at the BO.”
Girish doesn’t see this as a clash. “I feel this is broadening the box-office horizons, and who better than Akshay Kumar and Salman Khan to create new records at the box-office.”