Good reviews, moderate box-office!

Highway opens well in multiplexes, but fails to impress in single screens.Gunday, on the other hand, crosses the Rs.100 crore mark, worldwide

Mumbai | Published: February 28, 2014 11:30 am
Highway Highway

Imtiaz Ali’s Highway, starring Alia Bhatt and Randeep Hooda, may have received rave reviews, but that hasn’t translated into great collections at the box-office. The good thing, however, is that the film is performing well at multiplexes. Despite a modest release of 800 screens, it’s catering well to the niche audience that it was aimed for. Meanwhile, Gunday continues to do well at single screens in its second week, but faces tough competition from Highway at the plexes.

Highway gets lukewarm response

Though Highway started slow on Friday, the business picked up through positive word-of-mouth. It managed to do decent business, considering it only released in 800 screens. Says trade expert Taran Adarsh, “The strategy to have a limited release goes in the film’s favour, as it’s done well in urban centres, while it’s not been up to the mark in mass-dominated circuits.” 75 per cent of the film’s business came from Delhi-NCR-Punjab and Mumbai centres. It managed to garner Rs.13.99 crore in its opening weekend. “The Sunday collections of Highway showed a decent growth. But that’s not enough to slot the film as an earner with as much as Rs.30 crore as its budget,” adds trade expert Vinod Mirani. Yet it’s still early to say if it would recover its cost and make money for the distributors and exhibitors.
Sanjay Dalia, President, Cinemax India Ltd, however, is positive. “The night shows went houseful, and the film continued to maintain footfalls even on Monday. It will sustain because there’s a lot of positive word-of-mouth surrounding it,” he predicts. Meanwhile, other films like Darr @ The Mall and Dee Saturday have failed. “Darr @ The Mall has fared poorly with its day-to-day collections barely touching a crore mark. The film collected Rs.3.2 crore in its opening weekend,” adds Mirani.

Gunday makes the Rs.100 crore cut

After a flying start, Gunday continued to perform well throughout the week, with its first week collections coming up to Rs.82 crore nett. It, however, has already touched the Rs. 100-crore mark worldwide. “Gunday is still doing well at single screens, but is facing the heat from Highway at the plexes,” says Adarsh while Mirani, who believes the male bonding theme worked for the film, says, “Gunday proved again that films on male bonding, friendships don’t usually fail. Ranveer Singh and Arjun Kapoor have consolidated their positions.”
As for Hollywood films, Pompeii 3D and The Monuments Men which released last week failed to create an impact despite the fact that The Monuments Men had actors like George Clooney and Matt Damon in it. According to trade expert Girish Johar, these films did not affect the collections of the Hindi releases.

Great expectations from Shaadi Ke Side Effects

After a lukewarm response to Highway, all eyes are set for Shaadi Ke Side Effects. With actors like Vidya Balan and Farhan Akhtar on board, it’s no surprise that there are a lot of expectation from it. There’s a good buzz surrounding the film so far; the film’s promos too have been appreciated. “The film will take a good opening, considering the heavy promotions and reactions to the trailer. The advantage is that because of its subject, it should work well in both single-screens and multiplexes,” predicts Dalia. Keep watching this space to see if Shaadi Ke Side Effects delivers as expected.

Screen Forecast

Our Verdict

In Screen dated February 21-27, 2013, we predicted that owing to the unusual pairing of Alia Bhatt-Randeep Hooda, and A.R. Rahman’s music which had gained popularity, Highway would have a decent opening of 65-70 per cent. Though the film had a relatively low opening, that of 40 per cent. We predicted that it will hold well, especially in urban centres, if there’s positive word-of-mouth. We’d also mentioned that in case Highway doesn’t have a universal appeal, it will face stiff competition from Shaadi Ke Side Effects, which even the exhibitors-distributors are gung-ho about.

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