For theatres, Diwali is no longer the marquee date it used to be.
The festival was synonymous with Shahrukh Khan and movies from the house of Yash Raj Films (YRF) but not many producers rush to release their films on or around Diwali anymore.
For the last few years, the Diwali holiday has failed to bring the festive cheer to the box office and has been lacklustre for film releases.
In 2009, all three Diwali releases—All The Best, Blue and Main Aur Mrs Khanna—were unsuccessful. All The Best earned Rs 67 crore against a budget of Rs 41 crore, the other two films tanked at the box office. Akshay Kumar's Blue, made with Rs 80-crore budget, earned Rs 66 crore at the box office.
Even Salman Khan-starrer Main Aur Mrs Khanna could not light up the box office— the film pocketed Rs 15 crore against a budget of Rs 38 crore.
In the following years, Diwali saw some big releases but the films couldn't repeat the magic of the 1990s and early 2000.
In 2010, Akshay's Action Replay failed to entertain the audience, collecting Rs 47 crore against a budget of Rs 51 crore.
Yash Chopra's Jab Tak Hai Jaan, released in 2012, is considered to be his least successful Diwali venture.
For Chopra, Diwali had been a lucrative period since the release of Sridevi's Chandni, the film that turned the fortunes for YRF, the production house that was going through a rough patch.
But YRF also saw one of its biggest failures on Diwali when Aamir Khan and Amitabh Bachchan-starrer Thugs of Hindostan bombed at the box office in 2018. The film made at a budget of Rs 310 crore grossed only Rs 138 crore.
According to producers, Diwali is not as lucrative as other holiday periods as people are busy shopping and prefer to spend time with family and friends.
This Diwali will be duller as there few new films with coronavirus outbreak affecting shooting schedules and fewer people coming to cinemas that opened recently after remaining shut for almost six months. Diljit Dosanjh's Suraj Par Mangal Bhari is the only Diwali release this year.
Diwali may be losing its magic for theatres but video-streaming platforms are betting big on the festival of lights.
One of the most awaited Bollywood releases of this year, Akshay Kumar's Laxmmi Bomb, will stream on Disney+Hotstar from November 9.Netflix has announced the release of Abhishek Bachchan's Ludo that will stream from November 12 and Amazon Prime Video will release Rajkumar Rao's Chhalaang a day later.