New Delhi: What is usually presumed to be a dull period leading to the big Diwali weekend threw some surprise this year. The month of October saw two Bollywood films, comedy drama Badhaai Ho and mystery thriller Andhadhun, both starring Ayushmann Khurrana bring much cheer with box office collections of 89.35 crore and 64.55 crore, respectively. “Irrespective of the month, the pre-Diwali period is generally not considered to be a good time for movie releases. However, this October was exceptional because of films with smaller budgets that have done really well at the box office," said Ashish Saksena, COO-Cinemas, BookMyShow.

Film trade and exhibition expert Girish Johar said while Andhadhun worked with the youth and metro audiences with its black humour and open-ended narrative, Badhaai Ho has struck a chord across age groups and demography with its clean, family vibe.

While fantasy period thriller Tumbbad sustained to some extent with collections of Rs. 10.14 crore, the same did not hold true for most other Hindi film releases of the month. Salman Khan’s production Loveyatri, Govinda-starrer FryDay, Kajol-starrer Helicopter Eela, romantic drama Jalebi, romantic comedy Namaste England and business crime drama Baazaar only collected Rs. 11.22 crore, Rs. 1.52 crore, Rs. 4.13 crore, Rs. 2.41 crore, Rs. 8 crore and Rs. 13.63 crore, respectively.

The only Hollywood film to make a mark this month was Marvel’s superhero flick Venom starring Tom Hardy that earned Rs. 34.31 crore.

Regional cinema, however, was on a winning streak this month. Especially with Telugu action drama Aravindha Sametha Veera Raghava starring N.T Rama Rao Jr. that has made close to Rs. 150 crore worldwide and according to Saksena, is possibly the biggest hit in the Telugu language after the two Baahubali films. Telugu drama Hello Guru Prema Kosame earned Rs. 22.5 crore in its first weekend while both Dhanush’s Tamil gangster film Vada Chennai and Tamil romantic drama 96 have crossed the Rs. 50 crore mark. Malayalam epic period film Kayamkulam Kochunni starring Nivin Pauly made Rs. 25 crore in the first three days.

To be sure, there is much to look forward to next month. There is Rajinikanth’s much-delayed and highly anticipated science fiction thriller 2.0 at the end of November while Diwali next week has been taken over by Yash Raj Films’ action adventure Thugs of Hindostan.

“Thugs is quite easily one of the biggest films of the year with the biggest names coming from one of the biggest production house. Given the holiday period, ticket pricing and curiosity levels, it is likely to take a phenomenal start globally," Johar said.

All figures have been sourced from movie websites Bollywood Hungama and andhraboxoffice.com

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