BOX OFFICE: How Much Did Maharashtra Bandh Really Affect ‘JTHJ’ And ‘SOS’?

'Jab Tak Hai Jaan' and 'Son Of Sardaar' - Movie stills
‘Jab Tak Hai Jaan’ and ‘Son Of Sardaar’ – Movie stills

MUMBAI: Following the tragic demise of Maharashtra Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackeray, Bollywood’s Diwali releases ‘Jab Tak Hai Jaan (JTHJ)’ and ‘Son of Sardar (SOS)’ lost notable chunks off of their business.

Despite releasing on a festival (Laxmi Puja) the two big films managed to create a strong footing at the ticket windows on their first days (‘Jab Tak Hai Jaan’ opened with a Rs 152.5 milion/15.25 crore net and ‘Son Of Sardaar’ with a Rs 107.5 million/10.75 crore net).

Two days after their release both the films’ suffering began, when news of Shiv Sena chief, Balasaheb Thackeray’s critical health was circulated, and Thursday and Friday became a partial voluntary bandh in Mumbai.

Post the politician’s demise on Saturday afternoon, the city came to a standstill, with even theatres shutting shop. Many theatres cancelled shows for Saturday and Sunday, the weekend, which is of course peak business for any film.

The losses have been estimated between a grave Rs 150-170 million (Rs 15-17 crore) net for both ‘Jab Tak Hai Jaan’ and ‘Son Of Sardaar’ combined.

Over Saturday and Sunday, according to films distributor Ramesh Sippy, the two films lost money to the tune of Rs 120 million (12 crore). However, distributor Devendra Shah said, “I think Rs 12 crore is an understatement.”

Gaiety-Galaxy theatre owner, Manoj Desai, said, “We would surely have had 100 per cent occupancy on Saturday and Sunday. But honestly, I wouldn’t like to talk about the losses the films have suffered. We closed the theatres as a mark of respect to Balasaheb.”

The majority of business for most Bollywood films comes from Mumbai. But with Maharashtra on a near-total shutdown, including towns like Pune, Nasik, Solapur, Sangli, Kolhapur, Satara, Nagpur, Amravati, Akola and Jalgaon; the losses to the JTHJ and SOS were note-worthy.

The good news? Despite this, the films are managing to cope up.

While ‘Son Of Sardaar’ (which was garnering most of its business from North India) stands at a 6 day total of Rs 650 million (Rs 65 crore) net; It is ‘Jab Tak Hai Jaan’ that’s truly racing ahead!

Yash Chopra’s swan song has proved to be a worldwide blockbuster by raking in an astounding Rs 1.220 billion (Rs 120 crores) net in India and overseas, in a mere 6 days. This has been the highest grossing opening weekend overseas for any Bollywood film so far. The film also opened at No.5 on the US Box Office and at No. 4 on the UK Box Office charts. In the Middle East and New Zealand, the film opened at the No. 1 spot.