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The battle-lines are now comfortably drawn. Rahul Dholakia’s Raees and Rakesh Roshan-Sanjay Gupta’s Kaabil have obtained an equal number of theatres across the country, thereby providing further proof of the fact that this indeed is the toughest box office battle since Gadar and Lagaan.

A senior executive of a leading movie chain in Maharashtra says, “We are going to be screening an equal number of shows for Kaabil and Raees from Wednesday. Both are massy blockbuster-type films with a top actor helming the project. Furthermore the supporting cast in both are strong; Nawazuddin and Mahira Khan in Raees make an interesting new combo with King Khan. In Kaabil, Hrithik has the powerful Ronit Roy and his brother Rohit, plus Yami Gautam, again a fresh mix of actors. Plus there is very long Republic Day weekend, so enough room for audiences to warm up to both the film.”

Adds trade analyst Atul Mohan, “Yes, it is a battle of equals and to sum it all in one line all we can say…..may the Kaabil one become the Raees. But we have witnessed BO wonders in the past when two films have turned successful on the same Friday. We hope these two also turn box-office wonders and make all happy.”

However, Atul admits that the numbers are bound to get affected. “The maximum these two films together can make is around Rs. 300 crores. So it’s to be seen how this gets split between these two. It’s the biggest weekend one can dream of. So expect fireworks.”

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