After facing the wrath of CBFC, Sidharth Malhotra, Manoj Bajpayee and Rakul Preet starrer Aiyaary will hit the screens on February 16. Helmed by Neeraj Pandey, Aiyaary has been widely anticipated by fans ever since its announcement was made by the makers.
After helming films like A Wednesday!, Special 26, Baby and others in the past, Neeraj has become a champion of sorts of gripping thrillers about men-in-uniform. With Aiyaary too, Neeraj brings to light the story of how one of India’s ex-army officers (Sidharth Malhotra) tried to oust one of the country’s best kept secrets. Playing his nemesis is a ‘purana khiladi’ from Neeraj’s batch of stellar actors — Manoj Bajpayee. But wasn’t the patriotic sentiment around Republic Day (Aiyaary’s previously scheduled date) better suited for the film’s release?
Film business and trade analyst Girish Johar is of the opinion that while the continuous postponing of a film’s release date may have its downside, a good film still manages to sustain its appeal to the audience. Citing the example of how audiences flocked to the theaters to watch Padmaavat despite it being mired in controversies, Girish is hopeful that Aiyaary will have a decent opening at the box office tomorrow. He adds that the film is eyeing a collection of Rs 4.5 crore on Friday and could even rake in Rs 15 crore by its first weekend, if supported by a solid word-of-mouth.
Johar also mentions that if anything, the patriotic sentiment attached with the film adds to the appeal of the film among audiences. Neeraj Pandey has a reputation of delivering good content to the audiences and once word reaches out, there would be no stopping the numbers.
February 16 will also see the release of Marvel’s much-awaited film Black Panther. Given the widespread reception of previous superhero flicks like Thor: Ragnarok and Wonder Woman in the country, Black Panther is also expected to give strong competition to Aiyaary. Aiyaary will also face competition from Padmaavat, which is performing well despite this being in its third week, and Akshay Kumar’s PadMan. But worthwhile content and a solid word of mouth have always worked wonders for films.