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Box office: 'Dilwale' scores over 'Bajirao Mastani' in opening weekend

'Dilwale' scores over 'Bajirao Mastani' in the opening weekend, but the tide now seems to be turning in the latter's favour

The combined business of 'Dilwale' and 'Bajirao Mastani' in their opening weekend may have crossed the Rs 100-crore mark, but the industry has been rueing the disadvantages of two big-banner films clashing at the box office. Trade pundits say the films had potential to comfortably garner R80-90 crore as solo release, something that their face-off markedly restricted.

Also read: 'Dilwale' - Movie Review

Rohit Shetty’s Dilwale
A still from Rohit Shetty's 'Dilwale'

“The grand clash has turned the spotlight on a pertinent reality: competing with another biggie can prove to be disadvantageous. Everything gets divided, right from screens and shows to footfalls and overall business,” says trade analyst Taran Adarsh.

Also read: 'Bajirao Mastani' - Movie Review

A still from Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Bajirao Mastani
A still from Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s 'Bajirao Mastani'

The silver lining, however, is that both films, which belong to diverse genres, have been appreciated by their target audience, he points out and adds: “The masses have enjoyed Dilwale while the multiplex audience has given a thumbs up to 'Bajirao Mastani'. They have both done well as independent releases. Their combined collection for the first weekend stands at Rs 111.86 crore.”

If the division of numbers wasn’t enough, both films opened to protests, leading to cancellation of shows in several cities, points out trade expert Amod Mehra. 'Dilwale' invited the wrath of right wing groups due to Shah Rukh Khan’s statements on intolerance in India while Bajirao Mastani was targeted over ‘distorted history’ allegations.

“The protests against Dilwale intensified on Saturday and consequently, the collections took a nosedive. On the other hand, the numbers for 'Bajirao Mastani' rose, thanks to positive reviews and word-of-mouth buzz. By Sunday, it consolidated its position at the box office and now, it seems set to rule the ticket counters. 'Dilwale' will have to hold on strong through this week, especially since its BO numbers somewhat crashed yesterday,” he explains.

Adarsh says with no other Hindi movie slated to hit theatres until January 8, the films have an open run for three weeks, which is a great advantage for them. “'Star Wars', which is releasing this Friday, will, perhaps, pose as competition. But, the first preference of an average Indian movie buff is always Hindi films. So, let’s wait and watch how the long Christmas weekend pans out for the two films,” he adds.

BO stats
Rs 65.09crore
'Dilwale' (opening weekend)

Rs 46.77crore
'Bajirao Mastani' (opening weekend)

Record-breaking run

'Dilwale' has set quite a few records as far as its overseas business (Rs 56.38 crore) is concerned:
>> The day one collections in UAE was the best ever for a Hindi film ($900,000); it was ahead of Bajirao Mastani’s business by around 400 per cent and Star Wars by 60
per cent.
>> It had the all-time biggest opening in the Gulf and registered 2015’s highest first day collections in the UK, Australia and Malaysia.
Courtesy: Tweets by trade expert Komal Nahta

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