New Delhi: Eid and Diwali have become very important festivals for Bollywood in recent years. These two occasions are constantly producing relatively bigger films, and this year is no exception, but is the fact that a highly publicized film is releasing on Diwali or Eid, is competent enough to make a film a commercially successful venture?
The competition between ‘Jab Tak Hai Jaan’ and ‘Son of Sardaar’ looks fierce from the outset, but is it something worth worrying about! The trend of Diwali releases in last ten years suggests that light comedies have done better than dramas if blessed with good promotional drive.
These films might have been erased from your memories but 'Pinjar', 'Sssshhh' and 'Raja Bhaiya’ got released in 2003. ‘Pinjar’ received appreciation for good actors and serious content while ‘Raja Bhaiya’ and ‘Sssshhh’ started waiting for their TV premier right after the first week. Those were the days when Govinda was dancing with Raveenas and Karishmas.
Ram Gopal Varma never hesitates in releasing his films against big releases; he did the same in 2004 too. ‘Naach’, ‘Veer Zaara’ and ‘Aitraaz’ released simultaneously. ‘Veer Zaara’ and 'Aitraaz' became hits while ‘Naach’ bombed. Priyanka Chopra came to limelight after this film, songs also did good business.
Like Ajay Devgn, Akshay Kumar should also consider Diwali as his lucky time. The year 2005 saw his film ‘Garam Masala’ in tussle with ‘Kyon Ki’ and ‘Shaadi No 1’. Priyadarshan’s comedy of confusion ‘Garam Masala’ was liked by the masses while the rest of the two films couldn’t find takers.
Similarly, in 2006, ‘Don’ released alongside Shirish Kunder’s ‘Jaan-E-Mann’. Heavy dose of style and good music sailed ‘Don’ through the box office test. The combined force of Salman, Akshay and Preity failed to match up to the superstar quotient of King Khan.
Shah Rukh returned during 2007’s Diwali as well, and this time Ranbir Kapoor was the point of his wrath. ‘Saawariya’ was also a well publicized film but the over-enthusiastic PR team of ‘Om Shanti Om’ killed any chance of competition. A negative word of mouth publicity dampened the viewer’s mood towards ‘Saawariya’, however ‘Om Shanti Om’ went on to become a huge hit.
'Fashion', 'Golmaal Returns', 'Roadside Romeo' and 'Heroes' fought for the glory in 2008. Madhur Bhandarkar’s ‘Fashion’ (Rs 37 cr) and Rohit Shetty’s ‘Golmaal Returns’ (Rs 83 cr) hit the jackpot, rest two were unsuccessful.
Diwali releases of 2009 were very diverse in nature as ‘Blue’ (Cost - Rs 110 cr, BO – Approx Rs 53 cr), ‘Main Aur Mrs Khanna’ and ‘All The Best’ hit the screens. Salman, Akshay, Ajay, what else could a viewer want, but ‘Chiggy Wiggy’ and ‘Don’t say alvida’ bombed and ‘All The Best’ emerged the only film to earn profit (Rs 60 crore), Rohit Shetty has a good track record, no!
In 2010, Ajay Devgn, Kareena Kapoor, Akshay Kumar and Aishwarya Rai clashed to claim the ticket window. ‘Golmaal 3’ emerged the winner while ‘Action Replayy’ sank. Later, ‘Golmaal 3’ entered the Rs 100 crore club (Total Rs 167 crore) too, which was much more celebrated in 2010.
The phenomenon of ‘Eid’ release is still nascent but Diwali has been the occasion for big releases since some time. Last year, the extensive promotion of ‘RA.One’ hampered the chances of Himesh Reshammiya’s ‘Damadamm’ and Esha Deol’s ‘Tell Me O Kkhuda’. ‘RA.One’ (Rs 114 crore) recovered a good chunk of its cost but couldn’t become a huge success as it was expected to be. ‘Damadamm’ recovered Rs 7.25 crore in return of its Rs 3.5 crore budget, ‘Tell Me O Kkhuda’ remained a box office dud.
A close look at the trends in last some years would reveal that most of the Diwali releases have proved to be unsuccessful in terms of business at the box office. However, the festival has given some huge hits also, so a careful planning can always avoid the possibility of a bad box office run.
Son of Sardaar
Jab Tak Hai Jaan
Both of them
None of these