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Box office: Lull before the fireworks

Last week's small-budget releases bite the dust; all eyes now on Salman Khan's Diwali release 'Prem Ratan Dhan Payo'

For the third consecutive weekend, theatres bore a deserted look as movie buffs rejected all the four small-budget releases of last Friday — 'Yaara Silly Silly', 'Charlie Kay Chakkar Mein', 'Ranbanka' and 'Four Pillars of Basement'. According to trade sources, the combined collections came to less than Rs 2 crore.

A still from Charlie Kay Chakkar Mein
A still from 'Charlie Kay Chakkar Mein'

However, the industry is pinning hope on the big Diwali release, 'Prem Ratan Dhan Payo' to break out of the rut of low ticket sales and turn the box office slump around.

Trade analyst Amod Mehra says, "It has been a listless weekend; all the films were complete wash-outs. Now, everyone is looking forward to 'Prem Ratan Dhan Payo' and the advance booking has been terrific."

Agrees trade expert Taran Adarsh and adds: "It was a dull scenario, something that is expected in the pre-Diwali weeks. The releases left little impact at the box office and as a result, there was hardly any discussion around them. Everyone is talking about 'Prem Ratan Dhan Payo'."

Meanwhile, 'Pyaar Ka Punchnama 2', which released a month ago, has soared into the blockbuster territory with its total collections crossing the Rs 62-crore mark.

The Luv Ranjan-directed film starring lesser known faces along with newcomers has been made on a modest budget of Rs 9 crore.

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