Mumbai: As the big Bollywood clash between “Dilwale” and “Bajirao Mastani” unfolded today at theatres across the country amid protests by right-wing outfits, early trends indicate that the Shah Rukh Khan-Kajol starrer is leading with a better opening at the box office.
Directed by Rohit Shetty, “Dilwale” reunites the iconic pair of Shah Rukh-Kajol after five years and is a commercial potboiler with a dose of romance, comedy and action. While “Bajirao Mastani”, starring Ranveer Singh, Deepika Padukone and Priyanka Chopra, is a historical romance saga directed by Sanjay Leela Bhansali. “‘Dilwale’ has opened to an occupancy of 70 per cent while ‘Bajirao Mastani’ opened at 30 per cent. The opening day collection for ‘Dilwale’ will be somewhere around Rs 21-22 crore. ‘Bajirao’ might settle for a Rs 10-12 crore opening day figure,” Girish Wankhede, of production-distribution company Entity One, told PTI.
Trade analyst Taran Adarsh said the opening of “Dilwale”, which also stars Varun Dhawan and Kriti Sanon, will be within the range of “very good to excellent.” “‘Dilwale’ has opened better. It is too early to give a number now but it is in the range of very good to excellent. ‘Bajirao Mastani’ is slightly slow and is within the range of ordinary to good.”
“Bajirao Mastani” narrates the love story of the Maratha warrior Peshwa Bajirao I and his second wife Mastani. While Ranveer and Deepika play the eponymous roles, Priyanka is seen playing Bajirao’s first wife Kashibai. Adarsh, however, feels word of mouth for the Ranveer-Deepika starrer is very positive which might help the film.
“The word of mouth for ‘Bajirao Mastani’ is very strong, it will gain momentum by the evening shows, but the masses are loving ‘Dilwale’. Both the films will continue to do well as we have Christmas weekend followed by New Year. It is an open ground.”
Manoj Desai, exhibitor and owner of G7 Cinemas here, said both the films are doing well in his properties despite their different genres. “Both ‘Dilwale’ and ‘Bajirao Mastani’ opened to 100 per cent occupancy here. The shows are full and the audience response looks very promising as of now.”
Adarsh feels the clash has hampered the screen count of both the movies, apart from dividing the audience. “Not only the audience gets divided because of the clash but also the screen and show timings. Having said that, two good films can co-exist as has happened in the past too.”