The festival of Diwali has always brought good news for the film industry in terms of box office numbers. Looking at the box office figures of the Diwali releases in the last decade, it is evident festive releases attract more footfall in the theaters. Even after cinema halls reopened after a lockdown of several months due to the pandemic, Sooryavanshi set the cash registers ringing when it hit the theaters around Diwali.
Film trade analyst Taran Adarsh calls the Diwali period a ‘lucrative’ period for filmmakers to release their films. In his opinion, it is a time when people want to celebrate with their friends and family, hence it becomes a profitable time for the film business.
“Over the years, not just Diwali, other festivals have also contributed enormously to the box office collection. Last year, despite 50 per cent occupancy in Maharashtra, Sooryavanshi took a fantastic start at the box office on Diwali. This year is no different. Also, now there are no restrictions,” said Taran Adarsh, while adding that this year’s Diwali releases, Ram Setu and Thank God will have a good opening in cinema halls.
The action-adventure drama Ram Setu, led by Akshay Kumar, revolves around an ‘atheist archaeologist-turned-believer’, who has to ‘prove the true existence of the legendary Ram Setu before evil forces destroy the pillar of India’s heritage’. Thank God, on the other hand, is a comedy-drama, where Sidharth Malhotra is a human who has to give answers regarding his sins to Ajay Devgn’s Chitragupta.
Irrespective of their content, Ram Setu and Thank God are expected to get a good opening at ticket counters. But, after the festive opening, their performance will depend on their merit. “Ajay and Akshay, both are A-listers and are well-established stars with enormous fan followings. So I guess the film should get a good start because of Diwali, but eventually it will all depend on the content,” Taran suggested.
Film producer and trade expert Girish Johar has predicted that Ram Setu will earn in the range of Rs 16-18 crore on the day of its release, i.e. October 25, a day after Diwali. He also predicted a double-digit opening for Thank God. As per him, it will start its run in the theaters with around Rs 13-15 crore in its kitty.
Though both the movies are looking forward to great times at the ticket counters, it could have been even better had they been promoted well. Johar said the hype around Ram Setu and Thank God is ‘subdued’. He opined, “If pushed more, the films would have done better at the box office. But it seems makers are a little less confident or they probably do not want to entail the cost of marketing.”
Taran Adarsh also weighed in on the effect of less promotional activity around a film these days. He said, “Actors should at least go all out to promote their films. By all out I don’t mean just releasing the trailer, but talking about the film, and not just in metros but beyond them too. More and more assets of the film should be released by the makers so that they reach out to the common man. Promotions are very important today but they have been low-key for both Ram Setu and Thank God, for reasons only known to the makers.”
Ram Setu is Akshay Kumar’s fourth theatrical release this year after the debacle of his films Bachchhan Paandey, Samrat Prithviraj and Raksha Bandhan. The film’s performance at the box office becomes even more crucial for the actor to resurrect his fading Midas touch. Ajay Devgn too needs a hit to his credit after his film Runway 34 flopped at the box office. The only films that worked for the actor were Gangubai Kathiawadi and RRR, both of which only had him in extended cameos.
Since box office clashes have been common around the films, we also asked film trade experts if that would hamper the collections of Ram Setu and Thank God. Film distributor Akshaye Rathi suggested, “Diwali can conveniently accommodate films featuring two superstars. Besides, this is a time when medium and small-level films also entice the audience. This is a time when people go out with their friends and family in a big way and we must give them a choice of multiple movies to choose from. So, there should be something for people from all demographics.”
Besides Thank God and Ram Setu, the other films that are releasing around the festival of Diwali include Karthi’s Sardar, Mohanlal’s Monster, Sivakarthikeyan’s Prince and Dwayne Johnson’s Black Adam. Now, it will be interesting to see which of these movies will stand strong beyond the festive period of Diwali.
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