Ajay Devgn's 'Drishyam' gains momentum after dull opening while Salman Khan's 'Bajrangi Bhaijaan' inches closer to the Rs 300-crore mark at the box office
After a disappointing-but-not-unexpected start, Ajay Devgn-starrer 'Drishyam' has managed to register respectable collections in its opening weekend. Released on 2365 screens across India, the film — remake of an eponymous Malayalam thriller — saw a steady rise in footfall, riding on positive worth-of-mouth buzz.
Ajay Devgn in a still from 'Drishyam'
An industry source says, "The film has done quite well despite multiple challenges — stiff competition from 'Baahubali' and 'Bajrangi Bhaijaan', heavy rains and floods in important territories of Bengal, Rajasthan and Gujarat, and the ongoing bandh in the Jammu region."
A first-day business of Rs 8.5 crore made 'Drishyam' the lowest opener for a Ajay Devgn film in recent years. The average occupancy in theatres was as low as 15 per cent. However, a spurt in the collections over the weekend (Rs 21.53 crore) has made distributors optimistic. "Now onwards, it will have to continue with steady collections to make its mark at the box-office," says trade expert Amod Mehra.
The figures for Salman Khan's Eid release 'Bajrangi Bhaijaan' were almost on par with that of 'Drishyam'. Trade analyst Taran Adarsh says, "Bajrangi has continued its victory march and is simply unstoppable. At the end of its third week, the film has grossed Rs 292.23 crore, surpassing 'Dhoom 3' (Rs 284 crore). It is now the second highest Bollywood grosser of all time after 'pk' and is heading towards the Rs 300-crore mark in the domestic market."
Mehra agrees, stating that it is only a matter of time before Bajrangi breaks into the exclusive Rs 300-crore club. "It’s raining records at the box-office. Even Bahubali has set a record by becoming the first south Indian dubbed film to make Rs 100 crore," he adds.
Speaking of bumper business at the ticket windows, Marathi film 'Deool Band' deserves a special mention. Released on just 110 screens, it has raked in Rs 2 crore in its first weekend. Trade pundits say most of the shows are running houseful across the state and judging by the audience response, the film is headed to become a BO hit.
'Drishyam' (opening weekend)
'Bajrangi Bhaijaan' (week 3; Overall: Rs 292.23 crore)
'Baahubali' (Hindi) (week 4; Overall – Rs 103.51 crore)