By Priyanka Bhadani
That the coming together of actor Aamir Khan and film-maker Rajkumar Hirani creates magic is well-known. While 3 Idiots became the first Bollywood movie to cross the Rs.200 crore mark, their latest release, PK has crossed the Rs.300 crore mark — again, a first for any Indian movie. It made Rs.6.85 crore on Friday, Rs. 8.32 crore on Saturday and Rs.11.58 crore on Sunday, taking the total to Rs.305.27 crore by the end of the third weekend, according to official sources.
Incidentally, it was Aamir Khan-starrer Dhoom 3 that was till now holding the position of the highest Bollywood grosser with a lifetime India collection of Rs.284 crore.
With no other consequential movie in the vicinity, PK has grabbed all the attention, believes exhibitor and distributor Akshaye Rathi, who even predicts the movie to reach a lifetime collection of Rs.340 crore. “It would have done better had all the religious uprisings not occurred. Since the theatres were being vandalised at certain places by the religious protesters, many avoided going to the cinema halls, thus affecting the collections a bit,” he says.
Even in its third week, PK has enjoyed an average occupancy of 45 per cent, says Gautam Dutta, CEO, PVR Ltd.
According to Amrita Pandey, VP and Head of Marketing and Distribution, Studios, Disney India that distributed the film, the distribution strategy ensured the widest possible availability for the movie across all key markets. “And now, PK is the highest grossing Hindi film ever in India, North America, Australia and many other countries. Most importantly, the film has enjoyed an unprecedented growth trajectory and shows no signs of letting up, with cinemas registering incredibly high occupancy rates well into the third week of release,” remarks Pandey.
Others Hindi releases fail
The first week of the New Year opened with two Hindi films — Mumbai Can Dance Saala and Take It Easy. However, both failed to impress the audience with negligible earnings at the box-office. “Mumbai Can Dance Saala finds no takers and grossly negative reviews make things worse for the film,” says trade analyst Vinod Mirani as he adds, “Take It Easy, a film directed at kids, meets with poor response as well.”
Anurag Kashyap’s Ugly — a dark thriller that released in the Christmas week — has also not managed audience. The film may have found a few screens in the tier II cities in its second week, but that didn’t help it in terms of figures. “It has hardly done any business,” remarks Rathi. Seconds Mirani saying, “Ugly is a bleak kind of film, not quite welcome in the festive Christmas week. It has fared poor at the box-office collecting just Rs. 3.5 crore in its first week.”
Regional, international perform well
However, Essel Vision Production Ltd. that backs good content, proved itself once again with the Marathi release, Lokmanya Ek Yug Purush. “The film had a slow opening in metros, but then picked up steam by end of day one. At the end of the weekend, it closed at 55 per cent occupancy,” remarks Dutta. The film’s spokesperson stated that the film has garnered above Rs. 2.5 crore approximately by the end of the first weekend.
Talking about the international releases, Dutta says, “Woman In Black 2 and Unbroken, which released this week, did reasonably well at our cinemas. Both were very controlled and limited releases.”