It’s official! In what can be called a rarity, if not an unprecedented move, Akshay Kumar and the makers of ‘Padman’ have decided to defer the release of their film to February 9 from January 25 . The film will once again clash with Neeraj Pandey’s ‘Aiyaary’. Luv Ranjan’s ‘Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety’ is also expected to open on the same date, making it a three-film race at the box office, giving Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s period drama a clear two-week run. Akshay held a press conference at his residence to clear the air.
Speaking about the decision to move the release date of his film, which he had announced weeks before Padmaavat’s makers opted for the same date, Akshay said, “Releasing their film on January 25 is important for them, more important than it is for my film. Their stakes are really high and because, we are one large family, the studio backing my film (Sony Pictures Entertainment) and the producers decided to move our date to February 9 . Yes, ‘Padmaavat’ could also have moved, but they needed this weekend more than us. With close to 5000 screens, we can easily have two films running at the cinemas but this move was important for Sanjay’s film.”
Bhansali, on his part, said, “Everyone is aware that ‘Padmaavat’ has been through a lot of trouble. We decided to bring it out on January 25, but that date was already taken by Akshay’s film. So we met him and requested him to defer his film. He’s such a big star, but he didn’t take long to say yes. He has a large heart. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing and I will be eternally grateful to him for this. Had his film opened on the same day as ours, it would have added to our difficulties.” Akshay jokingly added, “Sanjay has also promised he will make ‘Rowdy Rathore 2’.”

The actor also cleared the air on rumours about the decision being made after a long closed -door meeting between the teams of ‘Padman’ and Padmaavat last evening. Akshay said that Bhansali dropped by at the venue where he was rehearsing for his performance for an upcoming award ceremony and requested if his film could move, allowing ‘Padmaavat’ a clear run. “We are all one family. Yes, there are times when two films release on the same date and theatres can accomodate that, but I want Sanjay’s film to come out because their film has been through a lot.”