All the three films that released last week had at least one thing which raised the expectations of the audience. While Kaanchi was Subhash Ghai’s directorial venture, with Samrat & Co., Rajshree Productions ventured into a different genre for the first time. And after the blitzkrieg performance of the Kangana Ranaut starrer, Queen, the audience was eager to watch the actor in her next, Revolver Rani. Unfortunately, all the three films failed to make a mark, and 2 States dominated the collections in its second weekend.
Revolver Rani had an edge over the other new releases
While the three new releases — Revolver Rani, Kaanchi and Samrat & Co. had a dismal opening with below-average occupancy on Friday, Revolver Rani did slightly better than the other two. Trade analyst Vinod Mirani states, “The trade expected Revolver Rani to perform well at the box-office because of Kangana Ranaut’s recent hit, Queen, but the film opened to a very weak response. The improvement over the weekend was negligible. The poor content belies any chance of it sustaining through the week. The film has managed to collect about Rs.6 crore in the first three days. Kaanchi’s old-fashioned approach from its title to its promotion and release strategy has failed miserably.” Incidentally, all the three films, didn’t have a very wide release. Revolver Rani released in approximately 1200 screens, while Kaanchi and Samrat & Co. released in about 1000 and 650 screens respectively. Gautam Dutta, COO, PVR Cinemas, says, “All the three films have performed below average. While Revolver Rani had an occupancy of 35-40 per cent over the weekend, the occupancy for both the other films was about 20-25 per cent. 2 States is definitely doing better than these new films.”
An important factor working against these films was the period during which they released. “These movies have come at a time when the election fervour is at its peak, plus there’s IPL, which may have cut out on some potential audience. Revolver…had an edge over the other two, but that’s because Queen did well. Ultimately, it’s the merit of the film that counts,” says exhibitor-distributor Akshaye Rathi. According to trade expert Girish Johar, the films may not be in safe territory, with Kaanchi collecting Rs.2.65 crore and Samrat & Co. garnering Rs.1.6 crore in their opening weekend. 2 States continues its winning streak, and clocked Rs. 76.3 crore at the end of its second weekend. As far as the Hollywood releases are concerned, Oculus and Rio 2 are doing average business.
Spider-man fever rises
With The Amazing Spider-Man 2 being a solo release on May 1 being a state holiday in Maharashtra, the expectations from the film have increased, more so, because the previous part received a thunderous response. Exhibitors, distributors and trade experts are hoping that the cash registers will start rolling once again, and thereby help them tide over the loss caused by the Hindi releases. Rathi adds, “Among the Hollywood franchises, Spider-man is the biggest in India because of its popularity among the kids. Plus, the kind of marketing efforts that Sony Pictures has put into this one is phenomenal. They’ve marketed the film in India, like a mainstream Hindi film. I may sound a bit too ambitious, but I won’t be surprised if The Amazing Spider-man 2 is the first Hollywood film coming close to the Rs. 100 crore mark in India.” The film may even enjoy a good two-week run at the box-office, since there are no big-ticket Hindi releases in the next few weeks.
In the April 25-May 1 issue of Screen, we’d predicted that due to the curiosity generated by the quirky promos of Revolver Rani, the film may have an occupancy of 50-60 in its opening weekend. But it fell short of expectations and only opened to about 30-40 per cent occupancy. The fact that it released when the election fever was at its peak, may have also affected the business. We’d also said that the film may do well in its second week, through word-of-mouth publicity, but since it has not recieved much acclaim, it is unlikely that the film will sustain through the week.