The trade is sceptical about John Abraham's actioner and 'Sahib Biwi Gangster', but unanimous about the other three releases being washouts
Of the five films that released on the Friday gone by, Nishikant Kamat's Force raked in a major share of the weekend box-office pie.
However, tradesmiths are skeptical if the weekend figures will ensure that producers will recover more than their investment of Rs 30-32 crore on the Hindi remake of the south star Suriya's hit, Kaakha Kaakha.
As for the others, it's believed that the reasonably budgeted Sahib Biwi Aur Gangster will recover its moneys, but there's no hope for Hum Tum Shabana, Tere Mere Phere and Dev Anand's Chargesheet.
Unlike Jhootha Hi Sahi, which netted a little over a crore bucks across India on release, John Abraham's action romance Force netted about Rs 5 crore on Friday. No wonder the head of a national multiplex chain is optimistic about the movie breaking even.
On condition of anonymity, he says that the action was highlighted, so it fared better in the single screens.
"If it opened to 40 per cent occupancy in the multiplexes, Force saw 60-70 per cent occupancy in the single screens.
Depending on the satellite price, if it does a distributor share of Rs 15 crore, then the makers have recovered their cost," he said, adding that Sahib Biwi Aur Gangster will break even with satellite rights, thanks to the critical acclaim the film earned.
However, Indore-based distributor Aditya Choksi of Akshar Enterprises is skeptical if Force will break even. "It remains to be seen what the film makes overseas as the production house has a good presence outside India.
And not to forget the satellite rights, which won't be very high as it's an actioner," he observes.
He goes on to say that Sahib Biwi Aur Gangster suffered the worst. "Despite super reviews, it couldn't manage the numbers. I'd attribute the low collections to a bad release time," he notes.
Manoj Desai, executive director of Maratha Mandir and G7 Cineplex in Mumbai too is in no hurry to call Force a plus film.
Terming it "Andhon mein kaana raja," he attributes the high occupancy at his theaters to lower ticket prices.
"Considering the kind of numbers its doing in the single screens, it's an achievement for John to carry a film on is shoulders," he states.
Veteran trade analyst Amod Mehra isn't too impressed with the R 15 of crore weekend numbers of Force.
"They are not good enough to call the film a hit. Monday like Mausam." he says, asserting that the drop on Saturday was the writing on the wall. "Notwithstanding that Sundays are usually better."
While Mehra is hopeful about Sahib Biwi Aur Gangster breaking even, he tells us that in many places shows of Hum Tum Shabana and Tere Mere Phere were cancelled.
Dev Anand's Chargesheet too didn't find any takers. "Over all, it's a bad week," Mehra sums up.