After being deserted for almost two years, movie ticket counters are witnessing a steady flow of cinephiles. This has given filmmakers the confidence to bring back their films to the big screen. This week, Akshay Kumar’s Bachchhan Paandey is hitting theatres, and as per predictions, the film is expected to rake in moolah on the opening day.
Film producer and trade analyst Girish Johar feels that since it’s a long festive weekend, Bachchhan Paandey will have the audience crowding cinema halls. “Akshay Kumar is a huge draw at the box office. Also, the film is a hardcore commercial entertainer,” Johar said.
He added that if the film opens well on Friday, it will have a “bounty weekend”. He pegged the film’s opening day box office collection at Rs 14-15 crore.
Given Akshay Kumar’s track record at the box office, chances of Bachchhan Paandey striking gold is high. His last release in the theaters, Sooryavanshi did a business of Rs 196 crore despite releasing amid the Covid-19 scare. He was also the first actor to have a big screen release (BellBottom) after the coronavirus-induced lockdowns ended. And, it is his habit of bringing three-four films to the cinemas in a year that makes him a favourite of the film exhibition fraternity.
Explaining the phenomenon that Akshay Kumar has become at theatres, Girish Johar told indianexpress.com, “Akshay Kumar brings people to theatres four times a year. So, even the exhibition fraternity prefers him as he brings the audience to theatres. He has created his own market.”
Another reason why Akshay has become a bankable star in Bollywood is the varied roles in his filmography. “The films he does are different from each other. So, there is no fatigue among the audience. He has done content-driven films and masala entertainers in almost equal measure. That’s the reason he is sought after at the box office,” Johar opined.
Though Akshay Kumar is associated with Bachchhan Paandey, Vivek Agnihotri’s The Kashmir Files might pose some competition to the film at the box office. In five days, the Anupam Kher-starrer has minted Rs 60.20 crore at the box office. Calling the film’s collection ‘insane’, Johar stated, “The Kashmir Files is on a rampage and these are numbers that nobody expected. Nobody expected that a regular Monday or a Tuesday box office numbers can be 4-5 times bigger than the opening day collection of the film. Though we knew the undercurrent of the film was strong, this is completely insane.”
He added, “I see that Bachchhan Paandey will have to give a tough fight to The Kashmir Files to earn profit. Having said that, if Bachchhan Paandey is received well, it will have a bounty weekend for sure because both films are like chalk and cheese. While Kashmir Files is a gut-wrenching film, Bachchhan Paandey is a commercial masala entertainer backed by Akshay Kumar.”
Now, it remains to be seen if the audience will give a chance to Bachchhan Paandey amid the storm of The Kashmir Files at the box office.