The David Dhawan masala style romantic – comedy, Main Tera Hero, got an above average start at the box office, grossing Rs.22.73 crores during the first weekend. Ongoing election fervour across the country, along with the semi finals and finals of the ICC World T20 cricket matches (where India was playing against South Africa and Sri Lanka respectively) resulted in fewer footfalls, when compared to the expectations built by the trade analysts and moviegoers. While the film collected Rs. 6.60 crores on the first day, positive word of mouth publicity helped the collection grow up to Rs. 8.03 crores on Saturday and Rs.8.80 crores on Sunday, taking it to Rs. 22.73 crores on the opening weekend, thus making it the fourth highest opening weekend grosser of 2014. The film is the highest opening weekend for a newcomer’s second release, which is certainly some good news for Varun Dhawan. On the other hand, Jal, which was released in limited screens, saw a very low turnout.
A hero arrives
While the semi-finals between India and South Africa on Friday affected the opening day collections of Main Tera Hero, it managed to get an average occupancy of 80 – 90 per cent at most single screens. “Four shows of the film were allotted to the film at Gaiety and the response has been excellent. Varun’s work has been appreciated by many. But, we can’t deny the fact that the election campaigns, last lot of exams and of course, the cricket match, affected the film. It could have done a lot better, since the buzz was strong,” stated Manoj Desai of G-7 cinemas, adding that despite all the clashes, the film managed to get close to 95 per cent occupancy on Saturday and Sunday. According to a spokesperson from PVR – Cinemax cinemas, the average occupancy at the chain of multiplexes was over 45 per cent. The weekday occupancy is expected to be around 25 – 30 per cent.
Trade Analyst Taran Adarsh mentioned that since the matches are now over, the film is expected to do well during the weekdays. “Since last week’s releases failed to impress, people were waiting for Main Tera Hero. The response was slightly slower at most places, but it managed to open with fairly good houses,” he said. Trade expert Vinod Mirani mentioned that Main Tera Hero is a single screen film and since a huge chunk of the masses were busy campaigning for their local leaders, the film saw a 15 – 20 per cent drop. He adds, “The film has done very well in centers like Mumbai, Punjab and Delhi. Since Tuesday was a holiday in most northern states, the film has a fair chance to earn a decent amount in the first week.”
No show for Jal, Captain America… does well
The second release, Jal, saw a lukewarm response. Since it was released in limited screens, with just one-two shows in a multiplex (on an average), the film only managed to earn Rs.90 lakhs in the opening weekend. While Desai states that the film saw an average occupancy of 60 per cent, thanks to the positive reviews, it needs very good word of mouth publicity to pick up. “Chances are very bleak, because some centers even saw shows getting cancelled on Friday due to a very small or no audience. While those who saw the film can’t stop raving about the cinematography, the film has failed to bring in good footfalls,” adds Mirani. The sole, albeit much anticipated international release, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, opened to decent numbers, with even the Hindi version doing good business in single screens (50 – 60 per cent occupancy). The film has collected approximately Rs.9.50 crores (all languages) in the opening weekend.
While last week’s releases – O Teri ( Rs.3.30 crores) Dishkiyaoon ( Rs. 4.97 crores) and Youngistaan ( Rs.6.13 crores) have been discontinued and sank without a trace, it is Queen and Ragini MMS 2 that continue to impress. The Sunny Leone starrer has collected Rs. 45.88 crores over three weeks, with one show on an average in most cinemas, while on the other hand, Queen still has one – two shows on an average, in most multiplexes in cities like Delhi and Mumbai, taking the all India nett business to Rs.59.30 crores in its fifth week. On the international front, Queen saw a good turnout in centers like United States of America, Canada, United Kingdom and Ireland during it’s four week run, earning approximately Rs. 8.67 crores.
The Amitabh Bachchan starrer Bhoothnath Returns, which is Bachchan’s first release this year, is the only Hindi release next week and with exams coming to an end, Mirani believes that the film will be able to get a good opening. “With just one Hindi release, Main Tera Hero will surely continue to benefit,” he said.
Figures taken from trade analysts Taran Adarsh and Vinod Mirani