Despite the fact that it was the only big release last Friday, Sonam Kapoor – Ayushmann Khurrana’s slice-of-life flick Bewakoofiyaan got a below average opening on the first day. Although Nupur Asthana’s directorial venture showed a lot of promise initially, with a number of promotional activities planned by Yash Raj Films, it looks like the film failed to strike a chord with its target audience – youngsters, because of the ongoing exam period. However last week’s release Queen is going rock steady at the box-office, leaving Gulaab Gang and Total Siyapaa far behind.
Going by the early trends, the buzz around Bewakoofiyaan was pretty low. Although the film was targetted at the multiplex audience, a spokesperson from Cinemax – PVR confirmed that the film’s opening did not match up to their expectations. A good number of shows, around 20 – 22, were allotted to the film. Although the noon shows saw a dull turnout, the evening shows were expected to get a decent start, but that was not the case. The first few shows opened to a meagre 15-20 per cent, which slowly went up to 50-60 percent during the evening shows. Even the weekend shows haven’t seen a big jump, thanks to the low word-of-mouth publicity and mixed responses coming in from those who have seen the film. “Despite having a fairly good starcast and a solo release, the occupancy in the morning and noon shows was a meagre 20 per cent. The ongoing examination and relatively low buzz surrounding the film kept a major chunk of the cine-going youngsters away from the cinema halls,” stated trade analyst Taran Adarsh.
Mayank Shroff, manager – programming and marketing, Cinepolis, stated that the film got a below average opening at the Cinepolis chain of multiplexes on the first Friday. “It was just around 60 per cent occupancy and we are not expecting a bigger jump during the weekends. It might just reach a peak of 70 – 75 per cent, which may not be enough for the film,” he said. Trade expert Vinod Mirani believes that although most films in the last couple of weeks have seen a slow start on the first day, Bewakoofiyaan does not have a long life at the BO. “The long weekend won’t help the film either,” he added.
On the first day, the film has managed to collect Rs. 2.23 cr nett, which is certainly less, keeping in mind the budget of the film, which is Rs.22 crore (including cost of production). A lot will depend on the weekend collections and how the film fares during the weekdays.
The Queen’s rule
On the other hand, the Kangana Ranaut-starrer, Queen which released last week continues to get decent footfalls in most theatres. “Queen almost saw a similar situation like Bewakoofiyaan on the first day, but the strong word of mouth publicity certainly helped the film. Queen will certainly benefit from the three-day long weekend,” stated Mirani, adding that the film collected Rs.2 crore on an average on the second Friday, taking the collections to Rs. 20.30 crore all India nett (first week collections being Rs. 18.80 crore). Adarsh agrees and mentioned that the film saw a phenomenal growth in business during the first week. According to Shroff, the average occupancy at Cinepolis multiplexes is around 60 – 70 percent, which is good for a film in its second week. Manoj Desai of G7 multiplexes stated that although Bewakoofiyaan’s estimate weekend occupancy is around 70 per cent, it is Queen that will continue to reign during the long weekend, with almost houseful shows.
The other two releases, Gulaab Gang and Total Siyapaa, are slowly phasing out. While Total Siyapaa has been pulled off, Gulaab Gang has been given one – two shows on an average. “Both the films did not see any growth. During the weekdays, only a handful of people would turn up for Gulaab Gang. Both the films have fared poorly,” mentioned Mirani. Shroff stated that while Total Siyapaa is discontinued in most centres, it is still given one show in North India and Punjab.
While there was no international release this Friday, last week’s release 300: Rise Of The Empire is still going strong. “300.. certainly saw the best opening last week and even now, it continues to get an average footfall. The occupancy is anywhere around 40 – 50 percent, which is good,” stated Shroff. The film continues to do well at Cinemax – PVR, with two – three shows on an average.
With no big release coming up next week, trade experts believe that Ragini MMS 2 will get an upper hand over Gang of Ghosts, because of the popularity of its music and the already established franchise. “Sunny Leone’s inclusion has created some buzz and the music is doing well. The film will get a decent start. Gang of Ghosts is an upbeat, comedy with a different take on horror. Since the film is based on a popular Bengali film, the content will be crucial here. Good word-of-mouth publicity should help the film,” stated Desai.
All figures provided are of the opening day, since we closed our
issue early due to the Holi holiday.