Emraan Hashmi-starrer 'Azhar' posts decent box office score despite lacklustre start; other Hindi releases run to near-empty theatres
Azhar, the biopic of former cricket captain Mohammed Azharuddin, may not have hit the box office bull's eye in its first weekend, but was reasonably successful in overcoming mixed reviews. After an unexciting Friday (6.30 crore), business picked up over the next two days, resulting in a total of Rs 20.80 crore.
Emraan Hashmi and Prachi Desai in a still from 'Azhar'
Although the numbers aren't exceptional, Emraan can take heart from the fact that this film has crossed the Rs 20-crore mark in its opening weekend — his best since 'Ghanchakkar' (2013), which had minted Rs 22.30 crore within three days. His last few releases had failed to set the BO coffers ringing — 'Ek Thi Daayan' (Rs 18.07 crore), 'Raja Natwarlal' (Rs 17.6 crore), 'Hamari Adhuri Kahani' (Rs 16.5 crore) and 'Mr X' (Rs 14.2 crore).
Trade pundit Amod Mehra says, "Despite several controversies, Azhar could manage a decent opening. The word-of-mouth buzz helped the collections grow on Sunday. The makers are in the safe zone since they have already sold the film to distributors. They will be in a position to recover their costs if the film is able to stand its ground over the weekdays."
He adds all other Hindi films — 'Buddha In A Traffic Jam', 'Dear Dad', 'Chudail Story' and 'Khel To Abb Shuru Hoga' — that released last Friday were total washouts. "'Captain America: Civil War' and super-hit Marathi film, 'Sairat', which completed their second weekend-run, were the only saving grace," he explains.
Trade guru Taran Adarsh says, "'Sairat' continues its victory march. With over Rs 55 crore, it has proved to be an all time blockbuster."
Box office stats
'Azhar' (opening weekend)
'1920 London' (by second weekend)
'Baaghi' (by third weekend)
'The Jungle Book' (by sixth weekend)
'Captain America: Civil War' (by second weekend)
All figures collected and compiled from production and distribution sources