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King of romance reigns over Diwali box office
- SRK-Yash Chopra conquers hearts, slapstick Sardar trails

King Khan versus Sardars. King of Romance Yash Chopra versus Slapstick Remix. Sparks are flying from B-town’s two Diwali fireworks — Jab Tak Hai Jaan and Son of Sardar — but Jharkhand has a clear winner.

Director Yash Chopra’s last magnum opus starring Shah Rukh Khan, Katrina Kaif and Anushka Sharma are reeling in the crowds. Directed by Ashwin Dhir, Telugu remake Son of Sardar, with Ajay Devgn, Sonakshi Sinha, Sanjay Dutt, Juhi Chawla and even Salman Khan in a special cameo to pack in the authentic Punjabi punch, is largely falling flat.

Though Shah Rukh’s Samar, lover boy-turned-bomb detonator, conceded the first-day collection crown to Salman’s spy act in Ek Tha Tiger Jab Tak Hai Jaan earned Rs 15.23 crores worldwide on Day One while Tiger had roared past Rs 32.92 crore — viewers are rooting for the SRK-Chopra brand of romance this season.

In both Ranchi and Jamshedpur, SRK romance has beaten Sardar slapstick and proved to be the bigger bonanza.

In the state capital, from November 13 to 15 (first half), estimated box office collections for Jab Tak Hai Jaan is around Rs 11.5 lakh while Son of Sardar has netted Rs 7 lakh, say plex owners. Capital multiplexes Eylex, Fun Cinemas, Popkorn and Glitz report overwhelming response — over 90-95 per cent occupancy for the SRK starrer. Son of Sardar stands at 60 per cent plus occupancy.

“We are getting lukewarm response for Son of Sardar. Jab Tak Hai Jaan has scored better. Yash Chopra has proved that romantic movies still find special place in the hearts of movie buffs,” said Vimal Kumar, manager of Fun Cinemas at Spring City Mall, Hinoo. He added the sizzling chemistry between King Khan and his two leading ladies, overseas locations and great cinematography made audiences — especially family crowds — make a beeline for it.

“We opened advance booking on November 9. It was a sell-out. Son of Sardar notched only 40 per cent ticket sale,” Vimal said.

Eylex’s Ajit Kumar and Popkorn’s Ricky Kumar Verma also voted in favour of the SRK starrer.

In Jamshedpur, consolidated figures are not available. But sole multiplex Eylex running eight shows in the first two days — November 13 and 14 — did business worth around Rs 5 lakh for Jab Tak and Rs 3 lakh for Son of Sardar.

Prestigious single-screen Payal Cinema mopped up Rs 3.90 lakh for Jab Tak Hai Jaan and around Rs 2 lakh for Son of Sardar.

“SRK, lovely leading ladies and above all, Yash Chopra. Result, 95 per cent occupancy and growing,” smiled Eylex general manager Sudip Banerjee.

Viewers in both cities remembered Chopra, the legend who started wielding the megaphone five decades ago with Dhool Ka Phool in 1959 and ended it with Jab Tak Hai Jaan.

“Who can forget Chandni, Veer Zaara and so many other films? We had to see Yash Chopra’s last offering,” said Ranchi homemaker Niti Rai who watched the movie at Popkorn on Wednesday with her family.

“When you watch a Yash Chopra film, you start believing in eternal love,” said Pallab Paul, a final-year student of ABM College, Jamshedpur.

Which of the two Diwali biggies did you watch and why?

Tell ttkhand@abpmail.com