Ae Dil Hai Mushkil beats Shivaay on first day at box office

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Reflecting the festive spirit of Diwali, two mega movies — Karan Johar’s “Ae Dil Hai Mushkil” and Ajay Devgn’s “Shivaay” — have sparked fireworks at the box office with trade analysts saying both are catering well to their respective audience.

Johar’s romantic drama, which was caught in a raging row ahead of its release, stars Ranbir Kapoor, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and Anushka Sharma. “Shivaay” features Devgn in the lead role, who has also helmed the action-drama.

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Trade expert Akshaye Rathi says both films, which hit theatres today, are off to a good start, though “Ae Dil…” seems to have a bit of an edge.

“Both are doing well in different places. ‘Ae Dil Hai Mushkil’ is doing well in urban centres, especially in multiplexes in metros. It should do business of approximately around Rs 13-14 crore by the end of the day.

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“While ‘Shivaay’ is dominating in B and C Tier cities with an early estimate of opening around Rs 9-10 crore,” Rathi told PTI.

According to Rathi, tickets at plexes are priced at a higher rate as compared to the single screens which is giving the Ranbir-starrer an edge.

“Ticket prices are more in multiplex, almost four times more than in single screens. They are usually in the range of Rs 250, Rs 300 even Rs 1,500 and more at PVR Director’s Cut,” he said.

After a long drama and suspense over its release, Johar’s “Ae Dil Hai Mushkil” hit the screens as scheduled, even though a social outfit staged protest against its screening.

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The organisation, Sambhaji Brigade, protested outside a multiplex which was playing the film at Kalyan in adjoining Thane district.

Kamal Gianchandani, CEO of India’s biggest circuit PVR Cinemas, says it is commendable both movies have managed to do well, despite a pre-Diwali period, which is considered dull.

Both are performing exceedingly well, doing more than the expectations considering that the pre-Diwali period is lean. Even the advance booking is exceptional, and the producers risk of releasing the film before Diwali has paid off.”

According to Kamal, both films have around 70 per cent occupancy in the 558 PVR screens across the country.

Trade analyst Amod Mehra, however, says the much ambitious project of Devgn is not being liked as much as “Ae Dil…” with morning shows reporting thin occupancy for the former.

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“‘Shivaay’ is being liked in Bihar and certain territories up North but in others parts in the country, and especially in multiplexes, the response has been very poor. The evening shows may pick up, but early reports show that the morning shows were poor,” Mehra said.

“‘Ae Dil…’ was ahead in this regards. It is not a lollypop romance film, it is about relationships and it is going to make money. Business wise, it is safe.”

While Rathi predicts a weekend collection of Rs 45 crore for “Ae Dil…” and Rs 35 crore for “Shivaay”, Mehra says the common complaint with the action-drama is its running time and “overdose of action scenes without any purpose.”

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