Before Aamir Khan’s Thugs of Hindostan, a look at how Diwali releases fared at box office over the years

Hindustan Times | ByRuchi Kaushal, New Delhi
Nov 07, 2018 01:39 PM IST

Aamir Khan’s Thugs of Hindostan is set to release on Diwali, which could mean great business for the film. But how have previous Diwali releases performed at the box office?

Diwali, the festival of lights is regarded as one of the most auspicious days of the year for a film’s release from the business point of view. Many films that have lit up the screens during Diwali have turned out to be huge blockbusters and the day still remains the most sought after release date for many actors. This year has Aamir Khan and Amitabh Bachchan’s Thugs of Hindostan, releasing on November 8, which is touted as one of the most awaited movies of the year. Also starring Katrina Kaif and Sana Fatima Shaikh, the film has been made on a massive budget and the ticket prices have been raised by the makers.

Aamir Khan, Amitabh Bachchan, Katrina Kaif and Fatima Sana Shaikh’s Thugs of Hindostan will release on Thursday.
Aamir Khan, Amitabh Bachchan, Katrina Kaif and Fatima Sana Shaikh’s Thugs of Hindostan will release on Thursday.

Aamir has always dominated the Christmas season with all his major releases like PK, Dangal, Dhoom 3, 3 Idiots and many more. The actor whose last disappointment was Mela in 2000, has now changed his routine with his second consecutive Diwali release after Secret Superstar in 2017. His earlier Diwali release was the Karisma Kapoor starrer Raja Hindustani in 1996 that went on to become a superhit at the box office.

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Aamir Khan in Thugs of Hindostan. He plays a con man without a conscience in the film.
Aamir Khan in Thugs of Hindostan. He plays a con man without a conscience in the film.

Diwali has often turned out to be a lucrative option for the filmmakers and has even witnessed the clash of the titans at the box office. There have been times when a big banner film could not enjoy a solo release. Shah Rukh Khan and Ajay Devgn have locked horns twice at the box office on Diwali. The two saw a clash in 2012 with their respective films Jab Tak Hai Jaan and Son of Sardaar releasing on the same date. They again faced each other at the box office in 2016 which saw the release of Ae Dil Hai Mushkil and Shivaay together. See Dil Hair Mushkil was headlined by Ranbir Kapoor with SRK having a cameo.

Not only this, 2017 saw Ajay’s Golmaal Again clashing with the release of Aamir’s Secret Superstar. While the former was a big hit at total lifetime collections of over Rs 205.69 crore, the latter made a total of Rs 63.40 crore at the domestic box office. Again, Secret Superstar was produced by Aamir and the actor had a guest role in it.

Both Ajay and Shah Rukh have laid their claims on Diwali since long with even Salman Khan releasing his film’s on the festive occasion in the past. While Salman has a hegemony over Eid with his films releasing then, Aamir has been holding the ownership of Christmas singlehandedly. However, both the actors have broken the trend to reap the Diwali advantage as Salman laid seige with Prem Ratan Dhan Payo and Aamir with Thugs of Hindostan.

Looking back at the past Bollywood releases, a few slips at the box office also need to be taken into consideration. While Salman’s Prem Ratan Dhan Payo got mixed reviews, the film made a total of Rs 210.16 crore at the domestic box office. According to, the film had, however, made an all time advance record by beating Dhoom 3 by a small margin, as reported by Similarly, SRK had to deal with mixed reviews for Happy New Year in 2014 that still went on to collect a total of Rs 203 crore at the domestic box office.

(Box office figures: Bollywood Hungama)

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