It's Salman vs Shah Rukh Khan in Japan
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A few days after the Salman Khan starrer Ek Tha Tiger premiered in Japan, Eros international has decided to release Shah Rukh Khan's blockbuster Om Shanti Om soon.
Eros plans to release the movie titled Koi Suru Rinne Om Shanti Om in Japan with Japanese subtitles on March 16.
Eros says that their rush-release of Om Shanti Om in Japan this weekend has nothing to do with Yash Raj's carefully-strategized Japanese release plans for Ek Tha Tiger.
According to a source close to both the actors said that the overnight decision to release Om Shanti Om in Japan was primarily a means to give Shah Rukh Khan a head-start over Salman in the Japanese market which is a still new for Bollywood.
"Where and when did Japan come into the picture? When Yash Raj took the initiative by flying Kabir Khan to Japan to open up the Bollywood market in the country with Ek Tha Tiger, Eros immediately planned a rush-release of Om Shanti Om. Why a seven-year old film now? Two reasons. One, because reincarnation is a big high for the Japanese. And two, because a Shah Rukh Khan starrer needed to enter the market before Salman's Ek Tha Tiger."
Director Kabir Khan did a four-city tour of Japan last week at the invitation the Japanese distributors Nikkatsu Corporation and the release date of three more movies was fixed for April 20 in Japan.
While Eros maintains that Bollywood and Shah Rukh Khan have a "cult following" in Japan, Ek Tha Tiger director Kabir Khan confirms that Japan is new to Bollywood.
"I wonder why Bollywood has not explored Japan for shooting! I don't think any significant Hindi film after Love In Tokyo has been shot in Japan. There is a zero market for Indian films and filmmakers in the country. Even Rajinikanth's popularity in Japan was only a phase in Japan that has now faded. As things stand, Japan has no knowledge of Bollywood or Bollywood stars. It was Nikkatsu Corporation who took the initiative to bring Bollywood into Japan. We are starting from scratch in Japan," said Kabir Khan.
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