Filmmaker Karan Johar‘s “Ae Dil Hai Mushkil” and actor-filmmaker Ajay Devgns “Shivaay” have both managed to receive a “strong” response at the box office by raking in over Rs 10 crore each, trade experts say.
Both the films released on Friday, ahead of the festive occasion of Diwali which will be celebrated on Sunday across the country.
“Ae Dil Hai Mushkil”, which released in around 3000 screens in India, has been mired in controversy due to the presence of Pakistani actor Fawad Khan.
Despite facing protests by Bajrang Dal and Hindu groups in various cities of West Bengal and Madhya Pradesh on day one of its release, “Ae Dil Hai Mushkil”, starring Ranbir Kapoor, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and Anushka Sharma, collected Rs 13.30 crore on Friday, according to the makers.
“‘Ae Dil Hai Mushkil’ – Friday Rs 13.30 crore. India business. Excellent at multiplexes. Note: Dhanteras. Pre-Diwali,” trade analyst Taran Adarsh posted on Twitter on Saturday.
According to Apoorva Mehta, CEO, Dharma Productions, the film has emerged as the biggest opener of Karan Johar.
“Shivaay”, meanwhile, managed to collect Rs 10.24 crore, and is going strong at single screens, Adarsh said.
Activists of the Bajrang Dal staged a demonstration outside a cinema hall in West Bengal’s Purulia district on Friday, protesting against the screening of the film.
Hindu groups held demonstrations against “Ae Dil Hai Mushkil” in many cities of Madhya Pradesh. However, theatres continued to show the movie.
“Karan Johar’s ‘Ae Dil Hai Mushkil’ is bold and beautiful. It’s a comfortable winner at the box office,” trade expert Komal Nahta tweeted on Saturday.
While talking about “Shivaay”, Nahta said: “‘Shivaay’ is below the mark. Single screen cinema audience may like it, but multiplex audience won’t”.
Movie buffs were keenly waiting for the release of both the movies, and they have both had their own share of controversies — which first began with the news of the clash itself.
Trouble ensued for “Ae Dil Hai Mushkil” when the Cinema Owners Exhibitors Association Of India (COEAI) earlier announced to stall the release of the film across single screens in Maharashtra, Gujarat, Goa and parts of Karnataka. However, some single screen owners have released the film.
Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) had also announced that they won’t let any film featuring Pakistani artistes release in India, including “Ae Dil Hai Mushkil”. But later they also agreed to the release of the film.
That apart, Ajay, who has directed, produced and acted in “Shivaay”, had earlier alleged that Karan Johar paid controversial actor Kamaal R Khan Rs 25 lakh to tweet positively about “Ae Dil Hai Mushkil” and to give negative reviews to “Shivaay”.