Mumbai: It was a good Friday at the Bollywood box office with big budget films "Dilwale" and "Bajirao Mastani" raking in over Rs.20 crore and Rs.12 crore respectively on the opening day itself.
It was termed as a clash of the titans when Shah Rukh Khan's "Dilwale" opposite Ranveer Singh and Deepika Padukone's "Bajirao Mastani" were going to be released on the same day. Eventually, both the films seem to have found their own audience. Industry experts say though "Dilwale" has opened to packed houses, the numbers will only get better for "Bajirao Mastani".
"Dilwale" amassed Rs.21 crore, according to trade analyst Taran Adarsh while the net box office collection in India for "Bajirao Mastani" is Rs.12.80 crore.
The distributors term "Bajirao Mastani" as a "slow-starter", adding that the weekend will decide the fate of both the films.
"It all depends on the weekend. Though 'Dilwale' has opened up well, I don't see 'Dilwale' sustaining too long after the weekend. As far as 'Bajirao Mastani' is concerned, it's a slow-starter. It will sustain in the long run and I don't think there will be a dip in the collection in "Bajirao Mastani' even after the weekend," distributor Sanjay Ghai from Delhi, told IANS.
Directed by Rohit Shetty, "Dilwale" brings back SRK and Kajol together on the silver screen after a gap of five years with a story laced with action, rib-tickling comedy and romance.
Sanjay Leela Bhansali's "Bajirao Mastani", on the other hand, turns back the clock to narrate the historical love saga of Maratha warrior Peshwa Bajirao I (Ranveer) and his relationship with Mastani (Deepika). The film also stars Priyanka Chopra.
Another industry expert Manoj Desai from Gaiety Galaxy emphasised that the response to Bhansali's magnums opus is growing with word of mouth.
"'Bajirao Mastani' has got more appreciation and it is growing through word of mouth. 'Bajirao Mastani' is houseful along with 'Dilwale' on Saturday and that's a positive sign," Desai told IANS.
The distributors also assert that content will be the final winner of the box office war.
Ghai said: "Both the films are extremely different. While 'Dilwale' is for masses, 'Bajirao Mastani' is for the class audience and ultimately it's the content that will steal the show."
Ranveer and Deepika, who are reportedly dating each other, are thrilled with the positive response. Deepika said: "It's been a very emotional and overwhelming experience. I haven't seen so much appreciation for a film till now."
The release of the films was also met with protests at various cities across India on Friday, resulting in a minor setback for them.
Trade guru Sunil Bansal from Rajasthan told IANS: "Due to protests, a few shows of 'Dilwale' were cancelled in Rajasthan. As far as 'Bajirao Mastani' was concerned, only one or two centres in Maharashtra were affected."
"Bajirao Mastani" has released in 3050 screens in India, while it is reported that "Dilwale" made its way into as many as 2700 screens. The budgets of both films are clearly over Rs.100 crore.