In recent times, we’ve seen how collections of films can go to an insane level if released on festivals or holidays. The classic and recent example is of the Akshay Kumar-starrer Gold and John Abraham-starrer Satyameva Jayate. These were the Independence Day releases of 2018 and opened at Rs. 25.25 crore and Rs. 19.50 crore respectively, sending shockwaves in the industry. Nobody expected these movies to open so well considering the clash and the star power. Both the film then fell down after the holiday period but the first day collections were enough to put them in the safe zone.
Now, the festival of Diwali is less than two months away and the big release of that festival would be Thugs Of Hindostan. Starring Aamir Khan, Amitabh Bachchan, Katrina Kaif and Fatima Sana Shaikh, it is expected to be a big-screen spectacle. A huge opening or rather the biggest opener is on the cards. But the trade had its doubts about that since the film initially was scheduled to release on the Diwali day itself. It is the day when the majority of the audiences are busy with the pooja and indulging with family and relatives. Hence, it has been observed that the collections on the day of Diwali are usually dull. This is a rare festival day that faces such a phenomenon. During the rest of the festivals – be it Eid or Ramzan or Dussehra – the collections are usually higher than normal. But in the case of Diwali, the day after the festival is a holiday and that’s when collections roar.
Earlier, the filmmakers had no qualms of releasing their film on Diwali. After all, there was no pressure on creating box office records. But now, the scenario has changed. Also, now the filmmakers fear that if their film releases on Diwali day and garners negative word of mouth, then audiences might not come in hordes on the beneficial post-Diwali day. This was first observed in 2013 when Krrish 3 released on Friday, November 1, with the Diwali falling on Sunday, November 3. There were reports that the film has got thumbs down from audiences as the three-day collections were not that great. Fortunately for the makers, the film went on a high on Day 4, collecting Rs. 35.91 crore, which was the highest single-day figure ever for a Hindi film at that point.
Krrish 3 managed to work but the other filmmakers were not ready to take the risk. Hence, the next two years – 2015 and 2016 – saw the Shah Rukh Khan-starrer Happy New Year and Salman Khan-starrer Prem Ratan Dhan Payo respectively releasing on post-Diwali day. The move paid off as both films had record openings.
Last year, two films released on Diwali – Aamir Khan’s home production Secret Superstar and Ajay Devgn–Rohit Shetty’s Golmaal Again. Interestingly, while Golmaal Again released on the day after Diwali, Secret Superstar chose to arrive on the festival of lights. This was possibly done since Secret Superstar was a smaller film and didn’t need to have a blockbuster opening. Golmaal Again was a big release and it required to make an impact on the first day. Hence, this arrangement looked fine. However, at an event to promote Secret Superstar, Aamir Khan revealed (see video below) that the reason he’s coming on the said day is because ‘Diwali ek shubh din maana jaata hai. So, we want to release on a day which is emotionally important to us.”
The stage was hence set for Thugs Of Hindostan to hit theatres on Diwali. However, when the logo was unveiled last week, the makers announced that they would now arrive on the day after Diwali, Thursday November 8, instead on Diwali that fell on Wednesday November 7! This came as a surprise since just last year, Aamir Khan had made a contrary statement and that Thugs Of Hindostan was supposed to release on Diwali day all this while. However, it seems like the hunger to create an opening day record and thereby history tempted Aamir to change his stand.
The buzz for Thugs Of Hindostan is so tremendous that even if it comes on a non-holiday, it can collect Rs. 40 crore plus on its first day. Now that it’s coming on post-Diwali day which is also a national holiday of sorts, and also the ticket rates would be inflated, sky would be the limit. Till date, the highest collection of a movie in a day is by Sanju when it netted Rs. 46.71 crore on its third day. Hence, one can expect Thugs Of Hindostan to cross this figure and even be the first film ever to hit the Rs. 50 crore mark in a day!