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The Touchy Tiger

Rajeev Masand is entertainment editor at CNN News18
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Forgiven, Not Forgotten | Family over Friends

His latest film, Tiger Zinda Hai, continues to smash box office records with a domestic haul of Rs 325 crore (net) and counting, yet Salman Khan gets touchy when he’s reminded of the disappointment that was his previous film, Tubelight.

The 52-year-old star got especially defensive last week when the topic of that dud was brought up by journalists who showed up to chat with him about the success of Tiger. Refusing to accept that the film had failed—both in terms of collections and expectations—Salman explained that it was being written off as a disappointment only because it had made relatively less money than some of his other blockbusters, but that wasn’t true. “Tubelight did Rs 220 crore. If you call that a flop, then I promise you other actors must be praying to have flops like this,” he said cheekily.

Even if that figure is correct—and trade pundits say it’s not—let’s just point out that Salman is conveniently referring to the film’s total gross (India + overseas gross). In comparison, Tiger has done a total gross of Rs 550 crore and will likely close at Rs 560 crore when it’s out of cinemas. Also, he doesn’t point out that the landing cost of Tubelight (the film’s final price tag, which includes production cost + actors’ fees + marketing, publicity and release costs) was significantly higher than its total gross, hence rendering it a failure.

Industry insiders say the actor was so upset about the film’s dismal box office performance that it led to some heated words with his director Kabir Khan right after the release. Salman reportedly blamed Kabir for making the film “too experimental”. Reportedly, there has been a serious falling out between the actor and the filmmaker since, with no further collaborations in the pipeline.

Instead, Salman appears to have turned his favour to Ali Abbas Zafar who has delivered two mammoth successes with the actor—last year’s Sultan and now Tiger Zinda Hai. Following Abbas’ alleged falling out with Aditya Chopra and Yash Raj Films, Salman quickly snapped him up to make a movie with him for brother-in-law Atul Agnihotri’s production banner. That project, Bharat, goes into production later this year and has already blocked Eid next year for its release.

Forgiven, Not Forgotten

So it happened. Kangana Ranaut and Karan Johar didn’t just run into each other, they hung out, chatted amicably and shot for an episode of a new talent show on television that Karan is judging. Kangana was roped in as a special guest for one episode .

Knowing that all eyes would be on them, Kangana and Karan reportedly made a humorous reference to the elephant in the room and then proceeded to participate in the show without any hiccups. They even posed for photographs and swatted away pesky reporters who asked them to comment on their ugly spat some months ago.

It would be premature, however, to think that the slate has been wiped clean and that they could become friends from this point on. Industrywallas believe it was a shrewd move on both their parts to show that they’d risen above pettiness; just don’t expect to hear that they’re making a movie together anytime soon. Ah, well.

Family over Friends

Rumour has it that there’s a cold war brewing between two mommies,both regulars of Bandra’s vast ladies-who-lunch brigade, over the attention of one of Bollywood’s top producers. Turns out that the ladies, who move in the same circles as the big shot producer, are trying every trick in the book to get him to launch their—currently teenage—daughters in one of his future ventures. Both ladies are married to former actors, and insiders say their husbands don’t seem as invested in this mission to snag favours from the producer. But the women are determined, one source reveals, and their own friendship has fallen by the wayside as a result.

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