The last Diwali during which two big banners clashed was in 2007 when Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Saawariya and Shah Rukh Khan’s Om Shanti Om took each other head-on across the country’s multiplexes and single screens.
Together the films earned close to R186 crore at the box office. In 2016, the controversial Ae Dil Hai Mushkil produced by Dharma Productions and Ajay Devgan’s Shivaay will fight for audience share when they release on October 28.
With all controversies behind it, Fox Star Studios, the distributor of Ae Dil Hai Mushkil is now gearing up to release two lakh prints of the film in the home market. Vijay Singh, CEO of Fox Star Studios told FE the film will be released in 60 countries simulteanously.
Multiplex operators believe revenues this time around could be higher than those last year when the Salman Khan starrer Prem Ratan Dhan Payo was released. The March-April period is typically a lean period in the film business
and business peaks in May and June and also between October and December, when big budgets movies are released.
Moreover, in case of multiplexes like PVR, the festive season contributes 20-25% of overall revenues, on the back of a 17-18% increase in footfalls.
“In a regular month, English films contribute 25-27% to revenues while 65% of the earnings come from Hindi films. During the festive season Hindi films contribute 70-75% to revenues while English films contribute 15%,” said Kamal Gianchandani, CEO, PVR Pictures and chief of strategy, PVR.
Gianchandani added Ae Dil Hai Mushkil and Shivaay are expected to earn R100-150 crore each at the box office. However, media analysts point out that the domestic theatrical business in India has only been growing at a rate of 8.5% year-on-year.
“With average ticket price (ATP) not increasing in the last two-three years, and the number of screens not being added at a fast pace, screen owners are not able to increase their revenue, despite some big ticket releases,” said Jehil Thakkar, partner and head, media and entertainment, KPMG India.