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Rs 8 bn at stake as three blockbuster films jostle during festive season

With Diwali and Christmas occurring within a month and a half of each other, the Indian box office will see releases from two Khans and Rajnikanth in a span of eight weeks

Urvi Malvania  |  Mumbai 

Thugs of Hindostan
Thugs of Hindostan poster | Photo: @TOHTheFilm

The has close to Rs 8 billion riding on three film releases in November and December this year. While festive season weekends have always attracted releases from the big guns of and regional cinema, this year, the stakes are much higher.

This year’s release – Yash Raj Films’ Thugs of Hindostan – is touted to be the most expensive film ever with an estimated budget of Rs 2 billion. Releasing on November 8, the film boasts of a stellar star-cast including Amitabh Bachchan, and The action adventure saga, set during the East India Company’s rule, has already sold digital streaming rights and satellite rights to and respectively.

Unlike releases in the previous years, will have just three weeks of clear run at the box office. Rajnikanth-starrer (sequel to 2010’s Enthiran) releases on November 29. Shot in Tamil, the film will be available in multiple languages, including Hindi. This means will have to share screens with the new release, and given the anticipation for the flick, the collections for the release will definitely take a hit.

Industry estimates peg the cost of at Rs 4 billion, making it even more expensive than S S Rajamouli’s two part magnum opus (Rs 4 billion in all).

Ending the year with yet another big budget offering will be Shah Rukh Khan-starrer Zero. With an estimated budget of Rs 1.8 billion, the film marks the first time and Khan working together. This is Khan’s first release of the year, his last film being 2017’s Jab Harry Met Sejal. Khan plays an unconventional lead, that of a dwarf who is looking at marriage prospects. He is joined by Anushka Sharma, and Katrina Kaif, both playing joint female leads. The film is written by Himanshu Sharma, who has also penned Rai’s other directorial ventures like (2011), Returns (2015) and (2013), all commercial hits.

will see a big0ticket film release on the same day – Warner Bros’ Aquaman which is part of the The film stars (from Game of Thrones) in the title role.

While Diwali and always attract big releases from and regional cinema, this year, the two festivals fall within a month and a half of each other, hence increasing the density of big ticket releases in November and December. If previous years’ records are anything to go by, the Indian box office could be looking at a windfall over the next eight weeks as these three films take centrestage.

Festive period releases in 2018
Film Estimated cost (Rs bn) Starring Release date
Thugs of Hindostan 2 Aamir Khan, Amitabh Bachchan, Katrina Kaif, Fatima Sana Shaikh November 8
2.0 4 Rajnikanth, Akshay Kumar, Amy Jackson November 29
Zero 1.8 Shah Rukh Khan, Anushka Sharma, Katrina Kaif December 21
Source: Studio information and industry extenuates

First Published: Tue, November 06 2018. 15:56 IST
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