Two controversial Bollywood period films have been breaking Indian box-office records, despite playing at the same time.

Land Tax (Lagaan) and Mutiny - A Love Story (Gadar-Ek Prem Katha) have been playing to full houses since both films opened 10 days ago. Box office for Lagaan is expected to increase as it moves into its third week.

Both titles are exceptions to the usual soft-centred romances which tend to dominate Bollywood fare. Lagaan is the story of the fight by 19th century peasant farmers against oppression during colonial rule, while Gadar is set during India's partition.

The success of the two high-profile pictures has left the Indian film industry breathing a massive sigh of relief after several recent disappointments. Local reports had predicted the period pictures would eat into each other's takings.

Gadar-Ek Prem Katha has also been been making headlines for other reasons after Indian police had to step up security around theatres after an angry mob set light to a screen in Ahmedabad where it was playing, protesting at what they described as "anti-Muslim" remarks in the film.

And Lagaan has been creating quite a stir internationally with its simultaneous worldwide release. On its first week in the US, it earned $285,368 from 34 screens. And in the UK, it took $128,024 from just four screens for a stonking $32,006 screen average.