New Delhi: Big budgets. Big directors. Big stars. With the much-awaited Bollywood extravaganzas Dilwale and Bajirao Mastani releasing this Friday, industry experts believe the clash will have a strong impact on the overall collections of the year. However, it's best not to expect a new record. (Also Read: Speak Up: Priyanka on Allegations Against Bajirao Mastani)
"Clashes are obviously not great," actor Shah Rukh Khan, who stars in and has produced Dilwale, told IANS.
SRK's movies usually have record-breaking number of screens, but for Dilwale, the actor says he has only about '50 percent of them'. He adds that his new movie 'cannot' break records.'
"There is another film releasing with our film, so we are not expecting an opening weekend record. But it's a working weekday businesswise. Had it released on December 25, it would have been different as it would have been a holiday and there would have been 20-30 percent more business. But December 18 is a normal working day with two films releasing. I don't think any of the films will have an opening record as such," he said.
"But I think there is a lot of breathing space for both the films as there are no big movies releasing for the next few weeks," Shah Rukh said, adding that he was happy with the "fantastic advance bookings" for Dilwale, which has been directed by Rohit Shetty.
The movie has all elements of a commercial entertainer because of the action sequences, comic scenes, scenic locales and ofcourse the SRK-Kajol jodi.
The movie faces-off with Bajirao Mastani, which promises to be a quintessential Sanjay Leela Bhansali film with its grand sets, battle scenes and historical characters. The fact that it stars rumoured couple Ranveer Singh and Deepika Padukone has also added to the hype. Priyanka Chopra, who plays Ranveer's first wife Kashibai in the film, says both Dilwale and Bajirao Mastani are 'beautiful and different kind of films' made by 'two prolific filmmakers'.
The business of both films is sure to be affected, says Delhi-based film distributor Joginder Mahajan.
"Both the films will undoubtedly have a great impact on the overall box office of 2015. However, as they are releasing together, screens would be divided and their business will get affected," Mr Mahajan told IANS.
"The profit of both the films will get divided. There was no big film released on December 11. Also, there is no film releasing on Christmas Day and January 1, 2016. So, this is a losing situation for both the films. Clashes at box office have always produced loss," Mr Mahajan added.
The budget of both films is also well over Rs 100 crores. Both the films have strong content and heavy distribution costs.
But as Mr Mahajan pointed out, "Bajirao Mastani will have more screens than Dilwale as Eros registered the date in March last year only. Right now we can only hope that both the films should cover their budget costs as they have been made with Rs 100 crore-plus budgets."
The distributors are hopeful of striking gold somehow.
Prashant Tiwari, chairman, Prateek Group, which is distributing Dilwale in Delhi, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh, told IANS, "When you choose a territory for releasing a film, the major criterion for consideration is the business potential of a film in that region."
We were confident that 'Dilwale' will do well in north India, especially since we have the prime territory of national capital with us. We are likewise expecting record breaking collections at the box office."