It was bound to be a Diwali with firecrackers not just in the sky, but at the box-office too. After all this was after 12 years that two big films – Yash Raj Films’ Jab Tak Hai Jaan (JTHJ) and Ajay Devgn Films’ Son of Sardar (SOS) – got released on the same day to very good response from the moviegoers.
Last it was in the year 2000 when Gadar and Lagaan were released on the same day, and both became blockbusters.
Notwithstanding all the clashes between YRF and Devgn over the screening of the films, it is learnt that both the films have opened well with JTHJ at 70% and SOS at 60-65% occupancy at multiplexes. While JTHJ has got a slight edge in the multiplexes, it is SOS, which is ruling at the mass centres. “Both JTHJ and SOS are neck to neck. At places JTHJ is ahead, at places SOS. It’s a joyous Diwali,” film trade analyst Taran Adarsh said.
However, many trade pundits believe that the evening shows of both the films will be affected because of Laxmi Pooja and the actual test will be on November 15, as all movies do well on the very next day of Diwali. Ashish Saxena, COO of multiplex major Big Cinemas said, “The advance booking for both the films was good and so is the opening. We are in for a big week ahead.
Lately, only one film used to pick up during Diwali week, this is one of the rare cases when both the films have been taken off well.” Devang Sampat, head of strategy at Cinepolis India, added that the average occupancy rate of the two movies was 80 per cent till 6 pm in 44 screens of Cinepolis India. “The word of mouth is good for both the movies, we are seeing a good response. Post 6 pm shows are bound to see less occupency,” Sampat said. However, giving a contrary view, Ghaziabad-based veteran film distributor Shaaminder Malik, who looks after NCR and Western UP, said that the response for JTHJ is not too good. “Advance booking is for November 14 but true potential of the movie will be seen on 15th. In the North, JTHJ is pulling crowd only because it’s a YRF movie and the publicity around it. But word of mouth is not good and the movie is too lengthy. SOS is, on the other hand, out and out entertainer and getting better response in the mass centres,” Malik said. Senior film critic Vinod Mirani however said both the films are disappointing. “Don’t go by the first two days collection. The real test will be from third day. SOS still has more mass appeal but in JTHJ romance is unconvincing,” Mirani opined. Final verdict on hit or miss will be out by Friday, but experts do feel that both the films have a potential to make over Rs 100 crore at the box-office.