Article by Vignesh (tweets @viggu_8391)
Diwali is one of the biggest festivals in India, it’s also the season when the working class get their ‘yearly bonus’ and the footfalls at cinema falls also tend to show a significant increase. Not too long ago, it was the biggest festival of the year, reserved for the biggest of films. That tag now belongs to Christmas, followed by Eid, but Diwali still sees big-budget films featuring the biggest stars in the industry.
In 2006, there were 2 big releases during Diwali. Salman Khan and Akshay Kumar’s ‘Jaan-e-mann’ released alongside Shah Rukh Khan’s ‘Don – The Chase Begins’, a remake of the Amitabh Bachchan starrer. The former started off well, but the box office supremacy of SRK and his charismatic portrayal as the ‘Don’ won the clash with Don collecting 2 times more than ‘Jaan-e-Mann’.
|Don||20 Oct 2006||21 Oct 2006||Action-Drama||105 cr||Hit|
|Jaan-e-Mann||20 Oct 2006||21 Oct 2006||Rom-Drama||45 cr||Flop|
2007 was one of the best years for the industry. Akshay Kumar was at the top of his game, with all his 4 films emerging victorious. The Diwali period saw Shah Rukh’s Om Shanti Om which marked the acting debut of Deepika Padukone, taking on Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s ‘Saawariya’, which introduced us to Ranbir Kapoor and Sonam Kapoor. Needless to say, Shah Rukh’s star power was enough to decimate ‘Saawariya’. ‘Om Shanti Om’ broke all box office records and emerged as the top grosser of the year.
|Om Shanti Om||9 Nov 2007||9 Nov 2007||Drama||151 cr||Blockbuster|
|Saawariya||9 Nov 2007||9 Nov 2007||Rom-Drama||39 cr||Flop|
2008 again had two films clashing during the Diwali Day and for the first time in a very long time, both films did well at the box office. Acclaimed Director Madhur Bhandarkar released his film ‘Fashion’ starring Priyanka Chopra and Kangana Ranaut. The film won huge appreciation and won National Awards. Golmaal Returns is the least successful Golmaal film, but it did well enough to earn ‘hit’ status at the box office.
|Fashion||29 Oct 2008||28 Oct 2008||Drama||43 cr||Semi Hit|
|Golmaal Returns||29 Oct 2008||28 Oct 2008||Comedy||83 cr||Hit|
2009 saw as many as 3 films releasing on the same day. All The Best, Blue and Main Aur Mrs Khanna clashed during this period. Blue, riding on Akshay’s star power, started off really well, scoring one of the biggest weekends, but crashed due to poor word-of-mouth. All The Best, which was gaining momentum eventually won the race due to lower costs. Main Aur Mrs Khanna was massive disaster.
|All The Best||16 Oct 2009||17 Oct 2009||Comedy||67 cr||Average|
|Blue||16 Oct 2009||17 Oct 2009||Action||66 cr||Flop|
|Main Aur Mrs Khanna||16 Oct 2009||17 Oct 2009||Rom-Drama||15 cr||Disaster|
2010 witnessed yet another big clash. Akshay Kumar and Ajay Devgn locked horns at the box office. The clash was between 2 comedy films, one directed by Rohit Shetty, whose popularity was increasing and the other directed by Vipul Amrutlal Shah. Golmaal 3 scored over its opposition right from the first day of its release and went on to become only the 4th film to cross the 100 crore mark.
|Films||Release Date||Diwali Day||Genre||Worldwide||Verdict|
|Action Replay||5 Nov 2010||5 Nov 2010||Comedy-Drama||47 cr||Flop|
|Golmaal 3||5 Nov 2010||5 Nov 2010||Comedy||173 cr||Blockbuster|
In 2011, Shah Rukh Khan was back to his Diwali releases after a gap of 4 years. It was the hugely-hyped Ra One, one of the costliest films of all time. While Shah Rukh was applauded for bringing in technology and making Ra One a technically good film, the film was rejected by the audience after a record Diwali day.
|Ra.One||26 Oct 2011||26 Oct 2011||Action, Sci-Fi||221||Hit|
The 2012 Diwali weekend was filled with controversies. This year saw Yash Chopra’s last directorial venture ‘Jab Tak Hai Jaan’ featuring his favourite Shah Rukh Khan, releasing on the same day as Ajay Devgn’s home production ‘Son Of Sardaar’. Ajay was criticised for announcing his film after the announcement of ‘Jab Tak Hai Jaan’ and sticking to his date even after Yash Chopra passed away. The entire period leading up to the release was ugly, with Ajay slapping a case against Yash Raj Films. It’s difficult to pick a clear winner from the clash, but Son Of Sardaar exceeded expectations, while Jab Tak Hai Jaan fell well short.
|Jab Tak Hai Jaan||13 Nov 2012||13 Nov 2012||Rom-Drama||235||Hit|
|Son of Sardaar||13 Nov 2012||13 Nov 2012||Comedy||163||Hit|
In 2013, Krrish 3, the 3rd part of one of the biggest franchises of Bollywood released in theatres. The film marked Hrithik’s return to the silver screen as a superhero, a character only he has been successful at playing. The film broke some of the previous records and set new benchmarks for the films to come. However, the film was marred with controversies regarding the official collections. Trade accused the Roshan’s for inflating the collections. The film was a blockbuster nonetheless.
|Krrish3||1 Nov 2013||3 Nov 2013||Sci Fi||384||Blockbuster|
2014 saw Shah Rukh’s 5th Diwali release in 9 years. It also marked the reunion of his ‘Om Shanti Om’ and ‘Main Hoon Naa’ director Farah Khan. The film had an ensemble cast with current heartthrob Deepika Padukone. It released on the biggest day for film business in the year and broke opening records.
|Happy New Year||24 Oct 2014||22 Oct 2014||Comedy||385||Super Hit|
2015 – After quite a long time we saw Salman Khan getting a Diwali release. The last time he had a Diwali release, his career was at an all-time low. But fast forward to 2015 and Salman was head-and-shoulders above everyone else in the industry. This Diwali was special because Salman was returning with Sooraj Barjatya after a gap of 16 years. It also brought back the’ Family Drama’ genre, which was missing from Bollywood. Prem Ratan Dhan Payo did well, but couldn’t match the success of his previous film ‘Bajrangi Bhaijaan’.
|PRDP||12 Nov 2015||11 Nov 2015||Family-Drama||395||Super Hit|
2016 – This year, we have what has been the ugliest clash of all time. Controversies, political angle, personal attacks.. the last coupe of months has seen it all. But nothing would matter on the Friday of release as Karan Johar’s Ae Dil Hai Mushkil takes on Ajay Devgn’s Shivaay.
|Films||Release Date||Diwali Day||Genre||Worldwide||Verdict|
|Ae Dil Hai Mushkil||28 Oct 2016||31 Oct 2016||Rom-Drama||TBU||TBU|
|Shivaay||28 Oct 2016||31 Oct 2016||Action-Drama||TBU||TBU|
We hope both films this year are liked by the audience and both emerge victorious at the box office. A year like 2012 would truly be a ‘Happy Diwali’ for the industry.
Which are your favourite Diwali films? Vote and tell us what you think in the comments section below: