‘Shivaay’ vs ‘ADHM’: who will win the big Diwali clash?

Festivals in India are big and profiting time for film releases, and this Diwali, two of the most anticipated films – Ajay Devgn’s ‘Shivaay’ and Karan Johar’s ‘Ae Dil Hai Mushkil’ are set to light up the theatres tomorrow, October 28.

‘Shivaay’ is an action thriller starring Ajay, Erika Kaar and Sayyeshaa Saigal, while ‘ADHM’ is an unconventional romantic drama featuring Ranbir Kapoor, Anushka Sharma, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and Fawad Khan. While ‘Shivaay’ is grabbing attention for its high-octane action stunts and amazing VFX, the highlight of ‘ADHM’ is its ensemble star cast and the unusual pairing of Ranbir and Aishwarya, and their sizzling chemistry.

Both the films are releasing on approximately same number of screens — between 2800 to 3000 screens. While ADHM has a higher share of multiplexes, Shivaay is releasing in more single-screen theatres.

While it is normal for increased prices of ticket during festive season, this time ticket rates have shot up much higher, up to 30 percent, according to reports. Online advance booking, which opened on Monday, has also received an overwhelming response, with some shows completely sold out.

Both the films have got rave reviews from industry people at special screenings, and trade pundits have been speculation over who will win the big box-office clash.

Film critic-cum-trade analyst Joginder Tuteja has predicted best openings for both the films. Kamal Gianchandani, CEO of the country’s leading chain PVR Cinemas, is also of the view that both the films could turn out to be blockbusters. “We feel both will be major hits,” he said.

According to exhibitor-distributor Akshaye Rathi, both the films are expected to open in the range of 12-15 crore each. He, however, added, “Honestly the two days before Diwali are not supposed to be good for business at all. Even on the Diwali day, people get busy in the evening. No one goes to watch movies. So, the first three days are not great days for business. The day after Diwali is when the hurricane strikes at the box office. So, to expect great numbers on the first three days is not practical.”

Untill the last week, ‘ADHM’ was facing a challenge in its release with political party MNS threating of vandalism in theatres which would screen the film. All this because Pakistani actor Fawad Khan has a cameo in the film. However, the issue has been sorted out and the decks have been cleared for the smooth release of the film.

While both the films have potential to be blockbusters, the various online polls to check audience’s preference, reveals more inclination towards ‘Shivaay’. The real box-office winner will emerge very soon. 

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