Though Salman Khan’s Race 3 is faring well at single screens, the collections at multiplexes appear to be dwindling. In the wake of the actioner’s figures not meeting expectations, Salman and brother Arbaaz Khan have apparently decided that his next release will be Ali Abbas Zafar’s Bharat, which also features Priyanka Chopra. While earlier reports had suggested that Dabangg 3 may hit theatres over the Republic Day weekend ahead of Bharat’s Eid release, it has been heard that Dabangg producer Arbaaz has now decided to push the third instalment to the latter half of 2019.

Says a trade source, “Both films will be shot simultaneously from September. But the plan is to release Bharat first.” Trade pundit Taran Adarsh agrees that the adaptation of South Korean film, Ode To My Father (2014), will be given preference. “Salman and Ali have a strong track record, so it has an edge over any other Salman film.”

Amod Mehra says that instead of a potboiler like the Chulbul Pandey series, a serious film may add to Khan’s repertoire. “Salman needs to be part of a powerful story, similar to what he did with Bajrangi Bhaijaan (2015) and Sultan (2016). He has to restore his image as a bankable actor.” Atul Mohan says, “Dabangg 3 is a masala film, while Bharat offers something new. So it makes sense to release it first.”