Festive holiday fulfills box office expectation after soft openings of big titles in 2017

Occupancy in theaters go as high as 80 percent or more during the holiday season, said Rahul Puri, MD of Mukta Arts.

Studios and exhibitors have heaved a sigh of relief post the festive period this year as the holiday time took home strong box office collections. The proof of this is money minted by the two releases during Diwali stretch-Golmaal Again and Secret Superstar.

The two films together have raked in a total of around Rs 114 during the Diwali holidays and that's just coming from the Bollywood side. Tamil film Mersal and Raja The Great from Telugu cinema have contributed to the hike in box office collections with the former grossing around Rs 147 crore globally in the opening weekend. As for the Telugu action comedy, the movie added Rs 42 crore in six days, all thanks to the festive period.

Golmaal Again may not have been at par with Baahubali in terms of making money. However, the occupancy for the film across India for the first two days was similar to that of Baahubali sequel (Hindi version).

Talking to Moneycontrol on the impact of festive holidays on box office revenues, Mukta Arts MD, Rahul Puri says, "Occupancy in theaters go as high as 80 percent or more during the holiday season."

Mersal saw a release in around 4,650 screens across the globe and the film witnessed excellent occupancy in all three shows (morning, noon and evening). It was off to a flying start with collections going up to Rs 47.1 crore worldwide on opening day. The massive numbers can be credited to the long Diwali weekend.

Diwali did not light up the box office only in India but also globally and money grossed by Mersal validates this. In the overseas market Mersal had a strong beginning especially in US, Malaysia and UK with collections going up to Rs 3.11 crore, Rs 1.82 crore and Rs 1.25 crore, respectively for the first two days of its release.

With Salman Khan making an event out of every Eid and Akshay Kumar entertaining audience on holidays like Republic and Independence Day, a lot of expectation was riding on this Diwali as the industry did not see a good run in 2017 post the release of Baahubali 2: The Conclusion.

The festive period proved its metal by giving bigger and better business than any other holiday this year. Salman Khan's Tubelight this Eid failed to bring movie goers to the theatres despite the holiday being the most sought after for movie releases.

According to Puri, "Diwali is also a sought after week for film releases as it is a long holiday and gives people a chance to catch up on movies."

Festive holidays not only bring cheer to people but also to the film industry. Puri says, "The collections (during festivals) are much higher as compared to any other time of the year."

In the recent past, holiday period like Republic and Independence Day may have taken the limelight but Eid, Christmas and Diwali still remain the most preferred slots for movie releases and according to Puri "these are the three main periods for the film business."

"Independence day and Republic Day are also public holidays and if combined with a long weekend they do boost revenue. But Diwali Christmas and Eid still have bigger films releasing and owing to a longer period of holidays they do better business at the Box office," he added.

- By, Rahul Puri, MD of Mukta Arts Ltd., on behalf of Mukta A2 Cinemas