As Aamir Khan takes on his first Diwali release as a solo hero, he has two records to beat — the box office success of his earlier Diwali releases Andaaz Apna Apna in 1994 and Secret Superstar last year.
The early reports and reviews of the film have not exactly been flattering which makes the task rather tough for Khan. Atul Mohan, editor of Complete Cinema, observes, “The opening collection does not seem to be more than Rs 20 crore. The film has been made to show the kind of expense they made, but the cost has gone into VFX and not storytelling. You can’t love or hate Aamir; there’s no emotion in the film. All that glitters is not gold is proved once again.” Trade analysts peg the lifetime collection of the film at not more than Rs 250 crore.
For years, Diwali season has often saved film goers from huge disappointment. Last year, Golmaal Again made and released at a cost of Rs 80 crore collected over Rs 200 crore. The year before that, Ae Dil Hai Mushkil released along with Ajay Devgn’s Shivaay did decently well while the latter turned out to be a disaster. However, Shivaay’s producers made their money though the distributors lost quite a bit.
In 2015, Salman Khan’s Prem Ratan Dhan Paayo made Rs 207 crore, whereas in 2014, Diwali release Happy New Year starring Shah Rukh Khan and Deepika Padukone made Rs 205 crore. In 2013, Diwali Hrithik Roshan's release Krrish 3 collected over Rs 240 crore while the previous year saw Shah Rukh Khan’s Jab Tak Hai Jaan and Ajay Devgn’s Son of Sardar becoming moderate grossers. But SRK missed the bus the previous year with Ra.One.
2010 saw a clash between Akshay Kumar’s Action Replayy and Ajay Devgn’s Golmaal 3. While the former flopped, Golmaal 3 did well. The year 2009 saw Main Aurr Mrs Khanna and Blue fall flat, while All the Best became an average grosser. Fashion and Golmaal 2 were released together in 2008 and both films did well.
Given the precedents, much was expected of Thugs of Hindostan, but the filmmakers seem to have tricked the audience into believing that this was the magnum opus of the festive season!