‘Dilwale’ vs ‘Bajirao Mastani’ Both movies expected to be biggest hit of...

‘Dilwale’ vs ‘Bajirao Mastani’ Both movies expected to be biggest hit of 2015


09/11/15  With SRK’s ‘Dilwale’ and SLB’s ‘Bajirao Mastani’ slated to clash at the box office on December 18, we ask trade folk how the two big-ticket films will affect each other’s business.

It takes two to tango, but two big ticket movies arriving in theaters is scarcely a good thing. Pegged as the largest box office battle Rohit Shetty’s action comedy in years, ‘Dilwale’ will compete with Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s period drama ‘Bajirao Mastani’ on December 18. And while performers of both pictures have labelled it “unlucky” or admitted to be nervous about it, the makers have been in no disposition to choose an alternate release date.

This has now resulted in a fight for maximum displays, say industry sources. “The makers of both movies are making an effort to obtain more displays compared to the other. Today, once the filmmakers decide the release date, they don’t give it up even though it’s slated to collide with another big-budget film.

Provider Anil Thadani insists that neither of the two makers has started booking screens. “It is premature to comment since the two makers haven’t set the screen space to date.

Another city-based distributor, requesting anonymity, says that Eros International, which is backing ‘Bajirao Mastani’, has booked maximum shows and most single screen theaters in multiplexes all over the nation.

The remainder are single displays. In a lot of company territories, ‘Dilwale’ is the popular choice while ‘Bajirao Mastani’, being a period drama, will probably discover just small audience,” he explains.

Thadani agrees that maximum business is generated from multiplexes, but asserts the possibility of Eros having already reserved single screens across India is low. “But, eventually, ‘Dilwale’ is a big film plus it is not possible that it will not get the (number of) displays (it’s aiming at),” he says.

While there is no denying that business and the crowd will get broken up, commerce specialist Taran Adarsh believes that two movies can’ co exist when they are great. “As per the trade buzz, however, Dilwale may have an upper hand. So, let’s wait and watch,” he quips.

Exhibitor-provider Akshaye Rathi says Shah Rukh has more supporters compared to the combined following of the ‘Bajirao Mastani’ star cast, so ‘Dilwale’ is bound to be a blockbuster. “But ‘Bajirao Mastani’ is also a huge film in regard to creation and star cast, a movie using plenty of commercial appeal. It might have gone off to some flying start if it’d got a solo release, and certainly, its business can get hampered. Exhibitor also feel both the film can hold their own ground. Going from the screen race, it will likely be balanced. Exhibitor feel the battle will be blown out of proportion,” he says.

“As far as the international market is worried, no one can conquer SRK. Nevertheless, both films should do nicely because they may be releasing in the pre-Christmas weekend and have sufficient time to cash in around the joyful frenzy,” he adds.