New Delhi: Just as trade analysts thought that the Diwali bonanza was over for the film industry, the festival weekend bounced right back at the film box office. With earnings of nearly Rs200 crore each worldwide, Rohit Shetty’s Hindi comedy Golmaal Again and Vijay’s Tamil action drama Mersal have given enough reason to call it a sparkling festival season this year.
“The Diwali releases are the most anticipated ones year on year and traditionally more than two films are released around the period," said Ashish Saksena, chief operating officer, cinemas, at online ticketing site BookMyShow.
“Festival weekends and holidays allow the audience to watch their preferred films over more days as compared to just any other weekend. In addition, people are generally in an upbeat, festive mood that ensures that they go out for films in relatively larger groups. They are also more inclined towards watching a film, without their decision depending too much on reviews or any other external factors," he added.
While Golmaal Again turned out to be the ideal family entertainer, film trade and business expert Girish Johar said the other Hindi release of the week, Aamir Khan’s Secret Superstar, could not build on strong reviews or Khan’s aggressive marketing.
“It did manage an impressive start thanks to the festival season but even good word-of-mouth resulting from a Thursday release could not help Friday onwards," Johar said.
Johar added that the pre- and post-Diwali lull impacted other releases of the month too. Saif Ali Khan’s Chef, comedy drama Tu Hai Mera Sunday, Anupam Kher’s thriller Ranchi Diaries, Manoj Bajpayee’s Rukh and Richa Chadda and Kalki Koechlin-starrer Jia Aur Jia only managed Rs6.37 crore, Rs29 lakh, Rs73 lakh, Rs45 lakh and Rs67 lakh, respectively. The same held true for Hollywood releases like neo-noir science fiction film Blade Runner 2049, starring Harrison Ford and Ryan Gosling, and biographical comedy drama Victoria and Abdul, starring Judi Dench and Ali Fazal.
“The Hollywood films did not do as well at the box office due to a combination of factors including general cool down during the pre-Diwali period and limited audience for a non-franchise film. Also, the dream run of Judwaa 2 (which released end of September) at the box office and pre-release buzz for Chef could have had an effect on the Hollywood releases," Saksena said.
Apart from Mersal, the other regional film that stood out this month was Ravi Teja’s Telugu offering Raja The Great, which had made about Rs28 crore worldwide at last count.
There is much to look forward to next month. Beginning with Ittefaq, starring Sidharth Malhotra and Sonakshi Sinha, this week, there is superhero film Justice League releasing on 17 November, which is expected to be particularly big in the metros.
“Then there is Irrfan Khan-starrer Qarib Qarib Singlle which can turn out to be another Hindi Medium and Tumhari Sulu which proves yet again that Vidya Balan can carry a film on her shoulders and get enough attention at the box office," Saksena said.
All figures have been sourced from movie website Bollywood Hungama.