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The industry is not hopeful of recovering the money lost during the first weekend of the releases. Photo: Hindustan Times  (Hindustan Times )
The industry is not hopeful of recovering the money lost during the first weekend of the releases. Photo: Hindustan Times
(Hindustan Times )

Box office collections of Diwali releases fall

The two films have lost nearly 20% of their estimated earnings in Maharashtra, say film industry experts.

Mumbai: With cinema halls remaining shut during the weekend, owing to Shiv Sena leader Bal Thackeray’s demise on Saturday, box-office collections of the two Diwali releases ‘Jab Tak Hai Jaan’ and ‘Son of Sardar’ have taken a hit. The two films have lost nearly 20% of their estimated earnings in Maharashtra, according to film industry experts.

Thackeray has a huge following in Maharashtra, which contributes 15-20% of the total Indian box-office collections for a Hindi movie.

Shah Rukh Khan-starrer Jab Tak Hai Jaan and Ajay Devgn-starrer Son of Sardar, which had a good opening on its debut day on 13 November, earning around 35 crore collectively (all India), cinema hall owners expected the two movies to gross around 180 crore from the Indian box-office between Tuesday and Sunday.

From Saturday evening onwards, shows across theatres in Maharashtra were cancelled. “We (theatre chains) are not certain if we will be able to screen the movies (Jab Tak Hai Jaan and Son of Sardar) on Monday in the Maharashtra circuit. This will further add to revenue loss," said Girish Wankhede, spokesperson for Cinemax India.

According to theatre executives, the occupancy rate for Jab Tak Hai Jaan on the first day of its release was almost 80% and for Son of Sardar 70%. Occupancies for both the movies were at par with 85% on the second day (Wednesday). On Thursday and Friday, occupancy fell to 50-60% for both films. “During the holidays, both movies did extremely well. The real test of any movie is during its first weekend," said Rahul Singh, senior vice president, operations at PVR Ltd.

The industry is not hopeful of recovering the money lost during the first weekend of the releases. “Significant part of a movie’s earning coming from the first 10 days. Time lost is time lost," said films trade analyst Komal Nahata.

Late filmmaker Yash Chopra’s last Bollywood movie Jab Tak Hai Jaan and Son of Sardar from the production firm of actor Ajay Devgn are considered to be blockbuster releases for this Diwali. “Usually there is one mega release during Diwali or even if two movies release only one does well at the box-office. But this year Jab Tak Hai Jaan and Son of Sardar both different genre flicks (and) received a good audience response during their debut," said Ashish Saksena, chief operating officer at Big Cinemas.

To be sure, the previous instance when two Diwali-release movies were both box-office hits was in 2001—‘Gadar’ featuring Sunny Deol and ‘Lagaan’ featuring Aamir Khan. Post that, if two films released during Diwali only one has been a hit – between Om Shanti Om and Saawariya, Om Shanti Om was a blockbuster hit in 2007, between ‘Action Replayy’ and ‘Golmaal 3’, Action Replayy bombed at the box-office in 2010.

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