Mumbai: Even as the makers of "Dilwale" and "Bajirao Mastani" gear up to release their films tommorrow, it is still not clear which one of them have managed to bag maximum screens.
When two big films clash, box office collection also depends on the number screens a film manages to lock in its kitty.
Eros International, which released "Bajrangi Bhaijaan" this Eid, had apparently laid down a pre-condition before single screen theatres owners that if they wanted to exhibit the Salman Khan starrer, then they have to showcase "Bajirao Mastani" too on its release.
This comes after the incident in 2012, when Eros was at the receiving end with Ajay Devgn starrer "Son of Sardaar" losing out to "Jab Tak Hai Jaan" in terms of screen count. This time, Shah Rukh's production house Red Chillies Entertainment is distributing "Dilwale".
This is the first film that they are independently releasing and hence they have to compete with veteran players in the field. PVR Pictures is also one of the distributors of the Rohit Shetty film and there is a buzz that "Dilwale" will take over most screens in the multiplex's chains across the country as compared to "Bajirao Mastani".
Online ticket bookings for the films also suggest a lead for "Dilwale" in multiplexes.
As for advance bookings, ticket windows for both the films have opened but no one was willing to share the exact numbers as yet.
When quizzed, PVR boss Ajay Bijli chose to play safe and said that both "Bajirao" as well as "Dilwale" are big films for them and there wouldn't be much difference in the screen space shared between the two.
"'Bajirao Mastani' as well as 'Dilwale' are big films and both have got good advance bookings. It's unprecedented for both the films. We are expecting aggressive opening for both the films," Kamal Gianchandani, CEO of PVR Pictures told
"Advance bookings of both the movies are fabulous. We are hoping this weekend will be one of the biggest box office weekends," Rajender Singh, VP, Programming & Distribution at
Inox Leisure said. Even though PVR is distributing "Dilwale" Gianchandani refused to divulge any details on the number of screens given to the film.
The ticket prices at single screen theatres are as low as approximately Rs 50-60 and high as Rs 300. While in multiplexes the rates would be starting from Rs 150-200 to Rs
"Inox always does price its tickets as per the paying propensity of its guests. We don't intend to increase our tickets than the rates we follow for big releases as these," Singh said.
Inox currently operates 102 multiplexes and 402 screens in 55 cities making it a pan-Indian multiplex chain.
"At PVR the ticket prices varies show to show and location to location. We haven't increased the prices of tickets it is same as it was for any big film," Gianchandani
said. PVR has 490 screens across India.
Back in Mumbai, at most of the single screen theatres, it is still not clear which film will open tommorow. There are approximately 70 single screen theatres in the city.
"At Gaiety cinema, we would be putting up "Dilwale" while at Galaxy "Bajirao Mastani" will open. At Gemini cinema both "Dilwale" and "Bajirao Mastani" will have shows one after the other. But I am yet to know which film will be there at Maratha Mandir (cinema)," Manoj Desai, exhibitor and owner of G7 Cinemas told PTI. "As of now, both the films have got good advance bookings.
The bookings are done till Tuesday," Desai said.
Another single screen theatre owner on condition of anonymity said, "Due to this battle of screens and also due to the deal during 'Bajrangi Bhaijaan' we are suffering. We hope the matter gets resolved and we are able to make money as our business mostly depends on big films."