Aishwarya Rai Bachchan was accorded a lukewarm welcome on her return to the big screen after a five-year hiatus. Although 'Jazbaa', her comeback vehicle, got a solo release, it managed to collect a modest Rs 4.23 crore on day one. The numbers, however, picked up over the weekend.
Trade pundits say the film witnessed occupancy rates of 35 per cent during morning shows on Friday, but gained momentum in the latter part of the day. "The business witnessed solid growth on Saturday, thanks to the positive word-of-mouth buzz. By Sunday, it consolidated its position at the box-office. Its three-day collections stand at Rs 15.24 crore," says trade analyst Taran Adarsh.
Attributing the respectable numbers to the multiplex audience, trade expert Amod Mehra says, "In single screens, 'Jazbaa' hardly found takers, despite it being Aishwarya's comeback and starring the dependable Irrfan in a pivotal role. If the collections remain steady in the weekdays, the makers can hope to cross over to the safety mark." The film has been made on a budget of approximately Rs 30 crore.
Meanwhile, 'Singh Is Bliing' and 'Talvar', which released the previous week, saw a reversal in their fortunes. The former starring Akshay Kumar saw an 85 per cent drop in its second weekend collections. There was a sharp decline in footfall in Mumbai theatres, unlike in northern parts of the country. "But 'Talvar' proved to be a big draw and had a super strong second weekend despite competition from other films," adds Adarsh.
'Jazbaa' (opening weekend)
'Singh Is Bliing' (week two; overall: Rs 66.41 crore)
'Talvar' (week two; overall: Rs 22.55 crore)