Here’s yet another testament to the fact that the aam junta is the real king. Despite some not-so-flattering reviews from the critics, Gunday managed to open well at the box-office. Especially, at the single-screens, the audiences are relishing the ‘naach-gaana’, dialogue-baazi, guns and fisticuffs that the film has to offer. Meanwhile, the previous release Hasee Toh Phasee manages to do decent business.
Living up to the hype
Ever since the first look promo of Gunday was launched, the film grabbed eye-balls for its unique cast. What seemed to have worked is also the fact that Gunday brings back the flavour of the films of the 70s and 80s— proved by its exceptional performance at single screens. “The film is running at both Gaeity and Gossip, single screen theatres in the same premise and still doing great business. In the first three days, the occupancy at my theatres was 100 per cent, and even on Monday, it was around 90 per cent,” says Manoj Desai. Trade expert Vinod Mirani feels that what worked in the film’s favour, was that it was a solo release. “Gunday made the most of its combination of two young heroes with growing popularity, popular music and Valentine’s day release date to take a bumper Friday at the box-office earning `Rs. 16.12 crore. The box-office levelled out on Saturday with Rs.12.63 crore, rising again on Sunday to Rs.15.18 crore. The first weekend tally of Rs.43.93 crore already qualifies the film as another hit for Yash Raj Films.”
Trade expert Taran Adarsh holds a similar opinion as he says that not many would have dared to release a film like Gunday on Valentine’s day, and thus this film has broken several myths. “The viewers got a taste of bromance and romance, because of the systematic, but aggressive promotional campaign by the makers of the movie. “The film released in 2,800 screens across India. The Bengali version was released in 40 screens in the eastern circuit. However, the collection from Bengal was quite negligible due to the less number of screens. Made on a budget of Rs. 50 crore, including the marketing cost, experts feel that YRF shall easily recover the costs. “The film has been lavishly mounted, along with a wide release. Yash Raj Films will recover their investment, but how much, we shall only know in the coming days. It should make money for the makers though,” says trade expert Girish Johar.
Hasee Toh Phasee recovers cost
With the opening week collection of Rs.25.35 crore, Hasee Toh Phasee is now in a safe zone. Though the business dipped slightly during the week. Johar says, “Hasee...is definitely in a comfortable zone, and has done good business. It has recovered its investment.” Meanwhile Jai Ho garnered Rs.3.7 crore in week three, making a total of Rs.104.9 crore.
While Hasee Toh Phasee, and Gunday have managed to end the lull at the box-office, there are few interesting films hitting the marquee in the coming days. Imtiaz Ali’s Highway boasts of a fresh pairing in the form of Alia Bhatt-Randeep Hooda, with Rahman’s music as its biggest USP. The film has aroused curiousity among the cinegoers, and is expected to do well, especially in multiplexes. Meanwhile, Farhan Akhtar-Vidya Balan starrer Shadi Ke Side Effects has also grabbed eye-balls. Time will tell if these films will strike gold.
In the Screen issue dated February 14-20, 2013, we had predicted that since Gunday’s music, coupled with the unusual cast will catch on well with the audience, the film will open well. Owing to the curiousity surrounding the film, and the fact that none of the films released this year managed to do well at the box-office, we had predicted that the film is likely to be a hit. And our predictions did come true since the film had a good opening weekend. Trade experts suggest that in the coming days, the film will recover the cost, and can well turn out to be a hit, as we predicted!