Who would have thought, Diwali a festival of lights, festivities and fireworks would emerge as a platform where the filmmakers would vie amongst each other to score a hit? Indeed just a decade ago, a film releasing on the eve of Diwali was a rarity, but it was the advent of multiplexes that changed the dynamics of movie viewing. In the history of Diwali vis-a-vis the clash at box office the year 2012 would be considered as the watershed year, as it would see the clash of two of the biggest Hindi film stars, Shah Rukh Khan and Ajay Devgn who are competing for eyeballs with SON OF SARDAAR and JAB TAK HAI JAAN all across 5000 screens and it has left the distributors salivating for action. According to the conservative trade estimates within the 10 days of the release of both these films, box office is going to make a minimum business of Rs. 250 crore and it would be one of the biggest Diwali’s that box office would have witnessed and may witness for a long time to come.
|SON OF SARDAAR AND JAB TAK HAI JAAN|
This is owing to the fact that it is a long weekend from Tuesday to Sunday for most of the cinema goers and there is no better way to enjoy vacations than soak in the contrasting ambiance, one seeped with rustics in SON OF SARDAR and the other sophisticated romance in JAB TAK HAI JAAN.
It is not for the first time that Shah Rukh Khan has been associated in a Diwali clash as it has happened in 2012 with another film. Five years ago in 2007 a major clash was built up in the form of SAWARIYA and OM SHANTI OM where OM SHANTI OM had come out winners. Indeed for Shah Rukh Khan the bonanzas at box office have centered around Diwali starting with BAAZIGAR to DIL WAALE DULHANIYA LE JAYENGE to KUCH KUCH HOTA HAI, VEER-ZAARA and OM SHANTI OM.
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The clash of films at the box office is a by-product of social manifestation as well in the country. Diwali as a matter of convention was associated with festivities to be celebrated with family, but as the nuclear families have become a norm all across the country, and the hassle of travel is a situation most of us like to avoid, what better way to celebrate the occasion than in the form of an outing to a movie. It is the change in the social dynamics in the Indian family system that has prompted the exhibitors to book cinema halls across the country in advance, as they are well versed with the fact that owing to the hassles of travel the public would rather like to enjoy the vacation and celebrate it with a movie.
This changing social dynamic has striking parallels, with the way the films are exhibited in Hollywood as well. In Hollywood the biggest festive season for a film is around Christmas characterized by long holidays and the creation of new box office records, and Hindi film industry seems to have picked up this trend during the last decade in a big way.
The producers and directors of both these films may fight their battles but it is the distributor who is going to have the last laugh for current Diwali. Let the fireworks continue.
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