Based on the backdrop of politics, Bhoothnath Returns, with the advantage of releasing during elections, was expected to do quite well, but the film had a slow opening on Friday. Of course, that was also more to do with the fact that it faced competition from the non-Hindi releases as well. Nonetheless, the film’s collections went up solely on the basis of its merit.
Bhoothnath… picks up despite a slow start
Amitabh Bachchan evidently, has been one of the biggest USPs for Bhoothnath Returns, but there are some who believe that the preachy nature of the film in parts may have led to a slight dent in the business. Manoj Desai of G7 says, “I have seen the reaction of the audience in my theatres. People are loving Amitabh Bachchan in the film, but politics being the topic of discussion everywhere these days, too much of it can be exhausting, and that may have led to an average opening of the film.” Nevertheless, the presence of Big B, and some positive word-of-mouth surrounding the light-hearted moments in the film, led to a jump in the business for the weekend shows. “The film opened to a weak response on Friday but consolidated a bit on Saturday and did very well on Sunday,” says trade expert Vinod Mirani. Bhootnath Returns garnered Rs.18.02 crore in its opening weekend, according to the official statement. Made on a budget of approximately Rs.35 crore, the makers are optimistic about recovering the cost in the coming days. In fact, for the Sunday shows the occupancy was almost 100 per cent. Monday being Ambedkar Jayanti and a holiday for some, has worked in the film’s favour leading to a steady performance. Meanwhile, Main Tera Hero continues to remain steady and made about Rs.43 crore at the end of its second weekend according to koimoi.com.
Competition from non-Hindi releases
Another reason for Bhoothnath… not matching the numbers expected is the competition from non-Hindi releases. Trade expert Taran Adarsh explains, “Nowadays, the non-Hindi films are posing a tough competition to the Hindi releases. An uninterrupted flow of Hollywood releases is also eating into the business of Hindi movies. Bhoothnath Returns had to compete with a Punjabi film Disco Singh in North India, while releases like Naan Sigappu Manithan (Tamil), Race Gurram (Telugu) and Gangster (Malayalam) dominated in South India.” The Hollywood release Rio 2 garnered the second biggest opening for an animation film and clocked Rs. 5.7 crore in its opening weekend. Even the business of Rio 2 saw a huge rise on Saturday and Sunday as compared to Friday. Apart from the non-Hindi releases, experts also believe that the friendly ghost would have received a warmer response, had there not been an overdose of ghost films of late. “There has been a barrage of ghost movies of late—Gang of Ghosts, Ragini MMS 2, and now Bhoothnath Returns. Although there were mixed reactions, however because of the positive word-of-mouth, the film gathered momentum later,” adds Adarsh.
Expectations from 2 States
Owing to the fresh pair, that of Arjun Kapoor and Alia Bhatt, there’s a lot of curiousity around 2 States, especially because it’s a light-hearted film, amidst elections and the current political scenario. The fact that Chetan Bhagat’s book was also a huge hit among the junta, adds to its appeal. Whether the film will strike a chord with the audience, only the coming week will tell.