Diwali weekend could see Rs 130 crore in box office collection

Posted on Oct 26 2016 - 9:33pm
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Shivaay and Ae Dil Hai Mushkil hit screens after a month of slow business

After almost a month of excitement, the Indian box office could in for a busy extended weekend starting October 28 as Karan Johar’s Ae Dil Hai Mushkil (ADHM) and Ajay Devgn’s Shivaay hit the cinema screens. 

Trade pundits peg the combined box office revenue during the four-day Diwali weekend, October 28-31, at Rs 120-130 crore, with Johar’s love triangle contributing a bigger share. Both the films are releasing in around 3,000 screens in India.

Opening day collections for ADHM are expected in the range of Rs 13-15 crore (net after tax), and could be more if feedback after the morning and afternoon shows is stronger than expected. First day revenue for action thriller Shivaay is expected to be in the range of Rs 10-11 crore, again depending on the feedback. 

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Both the films were made at a budget of Rs 100-odd crore each and need a good run at the box office to recover money. Sources reveal that ADHM has recovered around Rs 60 crore through satellite, digital streaming and music rights. While exact amount of revenue from ancillary streams for Shivaay is not known, it is also expected to be around Rs 40 crore, led mainly by satellite rights.

“From the reaction to the promos, acceptance of the music and the general anticipation for the film, ADHM is the clear winner. The cast looks good and the music has been well received and appreciated. I expect the film to make around Rs 40 crore in the first three days, if not more, and October 31, Monday, is expected to be the windfall day for both films,” said Shaaminder Malik, a distributor and trade analyst. 

In the case of Shivaay, the opinion is split. While its content proposition does not clash with ADHM in any way, being an action thriller, it provides variety to the audience. However, the general anticipation among the audience remains muted. “It is Diwali and action flicks do not always go with the mood. Moreover, apart from Ajay Devgn, there is no star in the film. The music has not done so well and overall the buzz is lacking. It will do better in single screens, but it could be touch and go in terms of profitability,” said a distributor on the condition of anonymity. 

Controversy has also helped ADHM. After tension between India and Pakistan escalated, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) led by Raj Thackeray had called for a ban on the film since it features Pakistani actor Fawad Khan in a small special appearance. However, the film has not been banned, and Johar issued a plea to let the film be released on schedule, though he did commit that he would not be working with Pakistani artistes in future.

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“Controversy can make or break a film. However, this film has a clear multiplex skew and the audiences may not be swayed by the MNS propaganda. We have seen that good content winning increasingly over the past couple of years and so ultimately it is the content that will decide the fate of the film,” the distributor added. 

An exhibitor said that the length of the films would also play a role in gripping audience attention. “Shivaay is slighter longer, touching 3 hours in run time. This means exhibitors can play fewer shows. ADHM, on the other hand, is at a crisp 2.5 hours and we can accommodate up to four shows a day,” he added. 
Multiplexes have split the show ratio at 60:40 between ADHM and Shivaay while in single screens it is 50:50.
Diwali is an important weekend at the box office with some of the biggest hits of the year releasing around the time. Last year, Fox Star Studios and Rajshri Productions released the Salman Khan starrer Prem Ratan Dhan Payo, which went on to become the biggest Bollywood opener ever at Rs 42 crore. Before that, it was Shah Rukh Khan’s Happy New Year (2014) that made big bucks in the opening weekend as well. This year, however, no record for opening day or Diwali weekend is expected to be broken, though estimates peg both films to make Rs 150-175 crore each in their respective lifetimes in theatres. 

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Urvi Malvania

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Diwali weekend could see Rs 130 crore in box office collection was last modified: October 26th, 2016 by greendecker

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