Golmaal 3 tops box office.
In the battle of the comedies in Bollywood this Diwali, Ajay Devgn's offering Golmaal 3 trumped Akshay Kumar's Action Replayy in the UAE -- and in India.
Mahi Golchin-Depala, local distributor and managing director for Phars Film, said the ticket collection for the opening weekend for Rohit Shetty's Golmaal 3 was 40 per cent higher than for Action Replayy.
"In terms of popularity, there was no beating Golmaal 3 because people knew what to expect in a typical Golmaal series. Audiences were happy with it. With Action Replayy, there was no such impetus," Golchin-Depala said.
The highly-anticipated retro comedy Action Replayy had its world premiere in Dubai last Wednesday and is backed by Bollywood heavyweights Aishwarya Rai-Bachchan and Akshay Kumar as opposed to Golmaal 3's ensemble led by Ajay Devgn and Tusshar Kapoor.
"Having a premiere in Dubai might have helped initially, but then the end-product has to be good for it to be a crowd-puller. And the reviews [for Action Replayy] have not been kind either," Golchin-Depala said.
"Golmaal 3 was watched by more than 40,000 people when compared to 28,300 who saw Action Replayy. For the Action Replayy team it's a bit disappointing because people head to the cinemas as a part of their festival celebrations. This was a crucial weekend for both the films," Depala said.
Sources at Eros International, the Indian distributor of Golmaal 3 said the film raked in Rs700 million (Dh57.3 million) worldwide.
Diwali and Eid are considered to be a lucrative time for Bollywood filmmakers seeking to release their films into the market. This year, Dabangg -- a festive post-Ramadan Eid release -- was a massive crowd-puller and struck box-office gold. All The Best (2009), Gajini (2008) and Om Shanti Om (2007), all released during this time, have all been runaway successes.
However, the festive season does not always guarantee a hit. Last year, mega-budget underwater adventure Blue, with Kumar as the lead actor, failed to lure holiday crowds. It's pretty much the same scenario in India -- the key market for the film industry.
"Golmaal 3 has taken the screens by storm and is doing better at all sites across Delhi. It has 60 per cent occupancy, while Action Replayy has 30 per cent," Jayendra Banerji, vice-president of Satyam Cinemas, told IANS.
The coming weeks will see a string of big-budget productions hitting the cinemas. Sanjay Leela Bhansali's Guzaarish and period drama Khelein Hum Jee Jaan Se are both ready to be rolled out.
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