Box Office: 'Dilwale' leads with Rs 96.3 crore; 'Bajirao Mastani' tots Rs 81.8 crore

MUMBAI: There's been a media created hype about the box office race between the two big releases of 18 December viz Dilwale and Bajirao Mastani. A film can’t be a hit or a box office success just because it is catching up with another film! The media has no sense of investment versus returns. The media believes in a Rs 100 crore film not realising that even at Rs 200 crore, a film like Prem Ratan Dhan Paayo will not cover its investments. To carry on this count, both Dilwale and Bajirao Mastani are yet far behind their recovery targets.

Bajirao Mastani is a hugely costly film needing over Rs 300 crore worldwide for recovery. The film's best performance comes from Western India while, otherwise, it has been faring reasonably well only at select multiplexes. It has a few takers at single screens at B and C town cinemas. The film has ended its first week with Rs 81.8 crore.

Dilwale, on the other hand, faced a lot of resistance because of the film's producer and star's untimely comment on the country’s character. That made bad business sense. Its lack of single screen bookings also marred its prospects to some extent. The film suffered on both counts. There were calls for boycott by various organisations. Yet, the film got a respectable opening but could not gather pace thereafter. The movie has been sold to local distributors for a huge consideration. Delhi Punjab, for instance for Rs 35 crore; CP for Rs 7.5 crore and such guys tend to lose badly.

While the attention was being diverted to the race between two films, the fact remains that, even with its tally being a little ahead of Bajirao Mastani, Dilwale does not amount to much on its own either. The film opened with fair collections on Friday with Rs 22 crore and ended its first week run with Rs 96.3 crore.

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