Arbaaz Khan: Sonam Kapoor was the right choice for 'Dolly Ki Doli'

 
Arbaaz Khan: Sonam Kapoor was the right choice for 'Dolly Ki Doli'

Actor Arbaaz Khan holds the record of being the only producer to have struck gold at the box-office with his first two films - 'Dabangg' and 'Dabangg 2'. Now Khan is gearing up for his third film as a producer with 'Dolly Ki Doli' starring Sonam Kapoor in the lead. Ahead of the film's release, Arbaaz talks to ClapsnSlaps about 'Dolly Ki Doli', his film's clash with Akshay Kumar's 'Baby' and more. Read on…


Initially 'Dolly Ki Doli' was releasing on 6th February but later it got advanced to 23rd January & is clashing with 'Baby'. What made you take this decision?


There were various reasons. Dates were being speculated, in fact, even I had tweeted that our film is coming on 6th February. When I made the announcement, a month later I got to know that Eros is coming with 'Shamitabh' on 6th February. I have now started understanding a few things about marketing and release dates. I am still learning and taking a lot of advice from people around me. Earlier I felt that having a solo release would be a good thing for a film and I still believe a solo release is a very good thing for a film. But the chances of you having a solo is release is less as some film which is already ready will push into that date.


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Basically there are 52 weeks in a year out of which 10 weeks in a year are blocked by the Major stars like say 'Kick' or 'PK'. When Salman releases his film, no one wants to clash with him, when Shah Rukh comes no one releases a film with his film so ultimately 40 weeks are left open for 150 films. So with 150 films in 40 weeks, it is difficult to get a solo release. In that case, you have to choose what is the best possible date to release the film is and what kind of opposition you have. If it is a similar kind of film, you have to move your film. What I thought in this case is, the four day weekend is very beneficial to a film like us and this is a festive film so this is a good time of the year to come. 'Baby' is a totally different genre of film. Had it been a 'Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge' kind of film releasing with us, it would have been a bad decision to clash. So that was a call which was taken with a lot of debate. Finally few positives made me take the chances as I think they are two different films, favorable time. Films like 'Queen' and all got the advantage because they did not have a big film coming in the next week so that gave them a chance to grow.


Were all the actors especially Sonam Kapoor, the first choices for their roles?


Well I would just like to say that we had short listed a few actors for all the roles and Sonam Kapoor was definitely one of those short listed actresses. There are a lot of aspects you look into like who are the people who can do the role, who are the actors who will have the dates and all. When all the factors were taken into consideration we all felt that Sonam was the right choice for it and when we approached her, she liked the script and was very excited to start working for the film. She gave us all the commitments we wanted from her and we went ahead with the film. Sonam was one of the top people on our list and she full filled all the parameters.


Why did you not act in the film?


I didn't want to forcefully be a part of this film. The only role where I could fit was the one which has now been done by Saif Ali Khan. It is a cameo, which now I think everyone is aware of. Had Saif not worked out, then there were chances of me stepping in the role. But I got my wish list so then I think about acting in 'Dolly Ki Doli'.


Was it your call to cast Malaika Arora Khan for an item number in 'Dolly Ki Doli'?


Yes it was my call and my idea. I felt there was space in the film for a popular/item/chart-buster song and then once you have that kind of song and you see who is the best person, the only name came to my mind was Malaika. In my case she is available, she is my wife and she trusts me and I consider her a professional and I didn't want to use her just for the sake of it. Be it Munni or small part in 'Dabangg 2' or FashionKhatam, everywhere there was a need for her to be there.


'Dolly Ki Doli' is drawing comparisons to 'Ladies V/S Ricky Bahl'. Do you think audiences are not ready to accept two films of same genre?


Coming to the conclusion of being compared is after you see the film. Concept wise, there is a cop who fights with a politician and in the end kills him is the story of 'Dabangg', 'Singham', 'Rowdy Rathore' and 'Dabangg 2' so would you call them all the same films? There is a different screenplay, the way director presents, different dialogues which make the film different.


You have signed a 3 film deal with Abhishek Dogra. Could you throw some light on that?


Yes and now that is a norm I guess. That could have been with Abhinav also or for that matter even Sonakshi Sinha. Yashraj does that, Subhash Ghai does that, Vidhu Vinod Chopra does that. The people who tend to give a film to somebody or give a break to somebody tend to have a sort of commitment from him that if you become a star director tomorrow, I should have the first right on him. May be I will allow him to do a second film outside my banner, in fact, I will do that. I won't stop him to do a film without me. I don't want to make him do a film for me forcefully. I didn't even stop Abhinav Kashyap after 'Dabangg'; he did a film 'Besharam' which was not by me nor did I stop him. I even offered him 'Dabangg 2' but he refused. Your moral obligation should be that the producer has given me a break so that's the loyalty.


You have an in house director Sohail Khan with you, so why didn't you choose to sign him as the director?


It is not his script. Today if somebody comes to me with a movie in fact take it this way if Sohail comes to me and says ki Arbaaz Bhai I have this amazing script and I want to make this movie I will make it. I can't tell Abhishek to move and say that give me the script, Sohail will direct the film. It does not work this way.


Lastly, what kind of business are you expecting out of 'Dolly Ki Doli'?


There are over 5000 screens available and I know 'Baby' will come on 2500 plus screens and mine is not a 2500 screen release, my film will release on 1200 screens or say max 1500 screens if there is a lot of demand for the film. We have all seen that there is a big share in the market that is to be achieved; 'PK' earns 35 - 40 crores in a day which tells us there is a capacity of earning 40 crores in a day. If my film earns 40 crores in its lifetime it will be a considered a Hit film. 'Baby' will earn around 10 to 15 crores on day one and my target is 3 to 6 crores and 3 would be a good to very good start.



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