Rohit Shetty’s mass entertainer Simmba and military drama Uri: The Surgical Strike, starring Vicky Kaushal and Yami Gautam, kept the cash registers ringing in January.
Simmba, a December 2018 release, raked in the moolah in the first month of 2019 too. Backed by Karan Johar’s Dharma Productions, the film opened with a Rs 20.72 crore collection, and by the end of its four-week successful run at the theaters, it minted Rs 239.59 crore. The Ranveer Singh starrer became filmmaker Shetty’s eighth consecutive film to enter the 100 crore club and also his most successful film ever.
One of the key reasons for its success was the lack of strong competition at the box office. However, the film slowed down in its fifth weekend as Uri wave took over and its number of screens declined.
Uri, based on the Indian military’s surgical strike on terror launch pads in Pakistan, had a slow start at the box office but it picked up steam. Opening with Rs 8.20 crore, the Aditya Dhar directorial became the first blockbuster of 2019 with a collection of Rs 160.23 crore so far.
Made on a budget of Rs 28 crore, the film crossed the benchmark of Rs 50 crore within five days and went on to reach the mark of Rs 100 crore in the next five days. It continues to maintain its grip on the audience.
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Trade analyst Taran Adarsh shared, “#UriTheSurgicalStrike surpasses all expectations, estimations and calculations… Wreaks havoc at the BO… Weekend 2 [₹ 37.96] is higher than Weekend 1 [₹ 35.73 cr]…” He also mentioned that the film witnessed only a decline of 12.22% in comparison to Sanju’s 54.24%, Padmaavat’s 58.26% and Simmba’s 59.145. “#Uri has trended better in *Week 2* than #Sanju, #Padmaavat and #Simmba, the Top 3 grossers of 2018,” he tweeted.
Talking about the box office performance of Bollywood releases in January, trade analyst Girish Johar said, “January was all about Simmba and Uri. The Accidental Prime Minister was also a decent film. Traditionally, January has been considered a dull month. But in the last 2-3 years, films like Raees and Padmaavat have scored centuries in January. Uri has also crossed Rs 100 crore mark this year. So, it is pretty much strengthening the ground and maintaining the growth. January has been a positive start to 2019.”
The Accidental Prime Minister, a biopic on former Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh, failed to pull the audience to the cinemas. The Anupam Kher starrer earned Rs 21.60 crore. Other biopics like Manikarnika: Queen of Jhansi and Thackeray, have performed decently with a collection of Rs 47.65 crore and Rs 22.90 crore, respectively.
Emraan Hashmi’s Why Cheat India, which was panned by critics, ended its run at the box office with only Rs 8.45 crore in its kitty. The other releases of the month, Govinda’s Rangeela Raja, Radhika Apte’s Bombairiya and Arshad Warsi’s Fraud Saiyaan earned less than a crore.