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Box office: 'Neerja' stays afloat as new releases sink

Holdover hit 'Neerja' overshadows six new Hindi releases; Leonardo DiCaprio-starrer 'The Revenant' finds favour with Indian audience

The month of February ended on a lacklustre note for Bollywood with six releases of last Friday failing to pass box office muster. While 'Aligarh' (Read review) and 'Tere Bin Laden: Dead Or Alive' (Read review) did manage to find a few takers, the other four films — 'Bollywood Diaries', 'Love Shagun', 'Rhythm' and 'Dhara 302' — released on fewer screens and were complete washouts.

Rajkummar Rao and Manoj Bajpayee in a still from Aligarh
Rajkummar Rao and Manoj Bajpayee in a still from Aligarh

Says trade pundit Amod Mehra, "'Tere Bin Laden part II' was not a patch on its predecessor in terms of box office collections (although it got double the screens than the original film). It was rejected by the audience as well as critics. On the other hand, 'Aligarh' had to content itself with only critical appreciation. All other films that released last Friday met with disastrous results and may struggle to survive one full week."

He mentions that holdover hit 'Neerja' (Read review), which has been declared tax-free in quite a few states, continued to win hearts and thereby, kept the BO coffers ringing. Trade expert Taran Adarsh says 'Neerja' has received an overwhelming audience response in the overseas market.

Sonam Kapoor as 'Neerja'
Sonam Kapoor as 'Neerja'

"It has, so far, minted Rs 20.61 crore, and is doing exceptionally well in USA-Canada, Australia and the Middle East. Even in India, it seems unstoppable. The film witnessed a big jump on Saturday (Rs 5 crore as compared to Friday's Rs 3.15 crore) despite the India-Pakistan T20 match, and did even better business on Sunday," he adds.

Big-ticket Hollywood release 'The Revenant' (Read review), which fetched Leonardo DiCaprio his first Oscar trophy at the 88th Academy Awards on Sunday night, did a three-day business of Rs 3.50 crore in India. "Its numbers were higher than that of several Hindi films that released last week," explains Adarsh.

BO stats

Rs 2 crore
'Tere Bin Laden: Dead Or Alive' (opening weekend)

Rs 1.50 crore
'Aligarh' (opening weekend)

Rs 3.50 crore
'The Revenant' (opening weekend)

Rs 28.11 crore
'Neerja' (second weekend; total: Rs 50.12 cr)

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