Diwali has long been a coveted box office slot for Bollywood filmmakers, with its potential to draw in the festive/holiday audience.
But the two high-profile Diwali releases this year — Karan Johar's Ae Dil Hai Mushkil and Shivaay — haven't given the industry as much of a boost as expected.
In fact, the joint collection of both films by the end of their opening weekend (Rs 64.16 crore), is reportedly the lowest in six years — and by a substantial margin.
"Diwali puja and festivities made a dent in the business of Ae Dil Hai Mushkil and Shivaay on Sunday. Business should witness an upward trend on Monday and Tuesday," tweeted trade analyst Taran Adarsh.
Distributor Joginder Mahajan told IANS: "People are more inclined towards festivities during Diwali. So these collections are good for both films. The crucial days will be Monday and Tuesday."
Of the two films, both of which released on Friday (28 October), Ae Dil Hai Mushkil has pulled ahead with a comfortable margin.
Shivaay's opening weekend collection (ending Sunday, 30 October) came to Rs 28.56 crore, trade reports confirmed.
Taran Adarsh and trade publication KoiMoi.com confirmed these numbers for Shivaay's domestic box office collections over the three days — Friday: 10.24 crore; Saturday: 10.06 crore; Sunday: 8.26 crore.
In contrast, Ae Dil Hai Mushkil registered domestic weekend collections of Rs 35.60 crore.
At Rs 13.30 crore on Friday, ADHM gave Ranbir Kapoor and Anushka Sharma the third highest opening figures of their careers so far, and collections stayed strong on Saturday, at Rs 13.10 crore.
Just like Shivaay, ADHM too saw a drop in collections on Sunday, to Rs 9.20 crore.
Monday bonanza for Shivaay, ADHM:
After a dip on Sunday, Monday saw a sharp rise in the collections of both Shivaay and Ae Dil Hai Mushkil.
While confirmation on these numbers is still awaited, trade sources reported a Rs 14-15 crore collection for Shivaay on 31 October, and Rs 15 crore for Ae Dil Hai Mushkil.
The jump in business will bring Shivaay's earnings to Rs 40+ crore and ADHM's to Rs 50+ crore, at the Indian box office.
How the numbers compare:
Trade experts compared Shivaay's opening collections to the year's other action films — Baaghi (Rs 38.58 crore) and Dishoom (Rs 37.32 crore) — to establish that its first week's box office earnings will be crucial in determining its status.
It also has a substantial budget of Rs 150 crore to recover.
ADHM, on the other hand, made at a cost of around Rs 70 crore, is quickly hurtling towards the Rs 100 crore mark, thanks in no small part to its overseas business.
ADHM for the win?
Ae Dil Hai Mushkil has given Karan Johar his biggest overseas box office opening to date, and reports peg the collections at nearly Rs 40 crore so far. The overseas figures are also a career best for Ranbir Kapoor.
With Diwali celebrations continuing well into the week, there is still plenty of space for both Shivaay and Ae Dil Hai Mushkil to add to their collections.
With both films already making it to the top earners' list for 2016 in Bollywood, it now remains to be seen just how much further they can climb up the rankings.
Watch this space for the latest numbers.