The month of March packed a number of Bollywood releases. But even though multiple A-listers featured on the silver screen, only a few of them could make an impact. The month’s first hit was Ajay Devgn’s Raid. The crime drama has single-handedly dominated the box office ever since it hit the theatres on March 16.
So what worked in Ajay Devgn’s favour? Film and trade analyst Girish Johar credits Raid’s success to two people: Ritesh Shah and Ajay Devgn. While Shah is the man behind Raid’s tautly written script and screenplay, only an actor with the calibre of Devgn could do justice to the role of the fearless IT officer Amay Patnaik. Another thing that made Raid click with the audiences was the repartee between Devgn and Saurabh Shukla. With a solo release on March 16, Raid managed to rake in Rs 94.19 crore in two weeks’ time and is expected to hit the Rs 100 crore mark in the coming weeks.
Anushka Sharma’s Pari which made way to the theatres on March 2 was the only other notable release before Raid. Being an out-and-out horror film, it catered to a very specific audience and went on to collect Rs 28.65 crore at the box office. While other films that hit the screens in the first half of March (Veerey Ki Wedding, 3 Storeys and Dil Juunglee) went pretty much unnoticed, Pari faced stiff competition from last month’s release Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety. Also, the fourth installment of Vikram Bhatt’s erotic thriller franchise Hate Story did enjoy a decent run at the box office with its Rs 22.27 crore collection.
Among Hollywood releases, the only prominent release was Lara Croft’s Tomb Raider which managed to mint Rs 5 crore at the theatres. However, other offerings like Pacific Rim Uprising, Ready Player One and A Wrinkle in Time did not receive much traction.
Rani Mukerji’s Hichki which hit the theatres on March 23 has also bagged a decent amount. With its daily figures landing up somewhere between Rs 2 and Rs 3 crore, the Yash Raj Films’ production venture has minted Rs 31.10 crore in just 9 days.
“The box office performance of Hichki has been commendable. Being a content-driven drama following the life of a Tourette’s syndrome patient and still receiving the love of cinephiles is no easy feat. The Rani Mukerji film caters to a very niche audience and is doing well in those specific sections,” said Johar.
Tiger Shroff and Disha Patani’s Baaghi 2, the last release of March, ended the month on quite a splendid note. While the quintessential Bollywood masala film was expected to perform well at the box office, it has exceeded all expectations with its humungous opening of Rs 25.10 crore. Breaking all records, the film scored the highest box office opening for this year leaving behind the previous record-holders including Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s magnum opus Padmaavat and Akshay Kumar’s Padman. In just two days, Baaghi 2 has raked in Rs 45.50 crore worth of collections and its earnings are expected to soar in the coming weeks as well.