January 25 was going to be a mega-clash with three biggies coming out on one day. There was Kangana Ranaut's magnum opus, Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi, Emraan Hashmi's social thriller, Cheat India and Nawazuddin Siddiqui's Thackeray biopic. Hrithik Roshan's Super 30 was also supposed to come out on this day, but thanks to the sexual harassment allegations against the director Vikas Bahl, it has been indefinitely postponed. Still, three big films were too much on a Friday and we were waiting to see which film will back out. Emran Hashmi's Cheat India to Now Release on January 18 to Avoid Box Office Clash with Nawazuddin Siddiqui's Thackeray?
Well, the die fell on Cheat India. A couple of days, the makers of both Thackeray and Cheat India announced that they are holding a press conference on January 4, where they will announce the new release date for the Emraan Hashmi film. The meet did take place and it was attended by Emraan Hashmi and producer Bhushan Kumar of T-Series representing Cheat India, while late Bal Thackeray's grandson, Aditya was also present along with Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut, who has produced and written the Thackeray biopic. Thackeray Trailer: Nawazuddin Siddiqui Gets Flak on Twitter for Playing the Late Shiv Sena Supremo; Richa Chadha, Siddharth’s Tweets Go Viral.
At the event, it was announced that Cheat India would release a week before, i.e. on January 18. Bhushan Kumar revealed that the decision to do so out of respect for the late Balasaheb and the move worked from a business point of view. He also reminded the press that they have done something similar in the past with Hindi Medium and Aashiqui 2, and the gamble had worked for them.
It makes sense that Cheat India be preponed since it would have been easily crushed between the hardcore fervour of its competitors. Manikarnika, being a film about one of India's first freedom fighters, is right to release during the Republic Day weekend, which also helps the movie take the holiday advantage and take off to a great start. As for Thackeray biopic, Sanjay Raut was adamant that they will release the movie on this date.