Dilwale vs Bajirao Mastani: Sweet Revenge for Sanjay Leela Bhansali?

Sanjay Leela Bhansali

On Diwali of 2007, Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Saawariya released with Shah Rukh Khan’s Om Shanti Om. Om Shanti Om was a massive success and ensured a dud debut for Ranbir Kapoor and Sonam Kapoor (and a dream debut for Deepika Padukone).

Shahrukh Khan and Saif Ali Khan followed this up with a rather crass take on Sanwariya and Sanjay Leela Bhansali on FilmFare awards night in 2008. Watch that below:

This did not go down well with Sanjay Leela Bhansali. His subsequent film Guzarish did not do well either but that was then. With Ram Leela achieving a huge success and earning Deepika Padukone her first FilmFare award, he was all set for his magnum opus Bajirao Mastani. So confident was he of his product (that also starred the International star Priyanka Chopra and a resurgent Ranveer Singh) that he pitted it against the cult pairing of Shahrukh – Kajol, Rohit Shetty backed by a huge budget and Varun Dhawan. All that was not foolhardy.

What seemed like a totally one-sided battle has become a case of content winning over marketing gimmicks. At the end of the second weekend, it is clear that in India, Bajirao Mastani has beaten Dilwale and will do so by a margin. The trend started changing the Monday after the first weekend, as noted by Bollywood analyst, Taran Adarsh:

By the end of the first week, it was quite clear that Bajirao Mastani sustained while Dilwale slid. The team behind Dilwale tried to project it as a result of protests against their film in certain cities. However, same was the case with Bajirao Mastani too where many theaters were not even showing the film.

By the second weekend, Dilwale had mopped up Rs 123.88 cr while Bajirao Mastani pocketed Rs 120.45 cr (in India). This will be bridged soon. It is a sweet revenge from Sanjay Leela Bhansali.


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