By Priyanka Bhadani
Like its predecessor Singham, even Singham Returns has managed to ride high at the box-office as it broke all records by being the biggest opener, surpassing Kick’s (which was the highest opener this year) opening day collection of Rs.26.5 crore. The film raked in a staggering Rs.32.09 crore on Friday.
Strategy that worked
With the film’s well-planned release date — August 15 (Independence Day) being a national holiday, the film had ardent fans thronging the nearest theatres to enjoy an action-packed Bollywood experience. Although the footfall slackened slightly on Saturday, the film managed to earn Rs.21.05 crore taking the total collection to above Rs.50 crore. On Sunday, the film earned upto Rs.24.55 crore, taking the overall weekend collection to Rs.77.69 crore.
“The release date worked wonders for the film,” says Rajender Singh Jyala, Vice President, Programming and Distribution, INOX Leisure Ltd, adding that the occupancy of the film on Friday was above 90 per cent across all sectors. “It dropped slightly on Saturday (to 70 per cent) but then again picked up on Sunday,” adding that the well-planned marketing strategies and buzz created before the film’s release worked in its favour.
The response at single screen theatres was even better. Manoj Desai of G7 Cinemas says that single screen theatres like Gaiety Galaxy and Maratha Mandir saw a 100 per cent occupancy during the weekend. “Many things, including action-packed sequences, the star-cast, Ajay Devgn and Rohit Shetty’s fan following worked in the film’s favour,” says Desai.
In fact, this is the first time that an Ajay Devgn film has had such a grand opening. Trade analyst Taran Adarsh thinks that the film will soon cross the 100 crore mark. “The film is marching gallantly towards surpassing the lifetime business of Singham (Rs.100.30 cr nett),” says Adarsh.
Entertainment slows down
As Singham… captured the screens, business of last week’s release, Entertainment slackened. Desai says that the occupancy has fallen. “It’s close to 50 per cent now and towards the end of the week, it will come down even more,” he says.
Adds trade analyst Vinod Mirani, “Entertainment has succumbed to its mediocre and juvenile jokes at the box- office.” Despite a solo release, the film has managed to collect Rs.65.61 crore at the end of the second weekend.
There was high expectation from the only international release of the week, The Giver, but it hasn’t done as expected. “The occupancy was really low for the movie,” says Jyala, adding that next week, the third installment of The Expendables is expected to do good. “Among the regional films, the Tamil film, Anjaan starring Suriya, is doing really well. It has 100 per cent occupancy.”
The coming week also looks bright at the box-office according to experts. “Since a Rani Mukerji film (Mardaani) will hit the screens after a long time, it’s expected to do well,” says Jyala, however, adding that Singham... will continue to enjoy its glorious run as the two films cater to different audience.
In the Screen issue dated August 15-21, we had rightly predicted that the Ajay Devgn -Kareena Kapoor Khan-starrer Singham Returns will open to packed houses. The Rohit Shetty-directed film, a sequel to Singham did excellent business of Rs.77.69 crore nett in the first weekend.