With three back-to-back flops behind him, there was quite a bit of pressure on Saif Ali Khan to deliver at the box-office with 'Phantom'. And the actor seems to have cracked the code. After a not-so-exciting opening on Friday, the counter-terrorism drama co-starring Katrina Kaif has managed to collect Rs 33.23 crore in its first weekend.
Also read: 'Phantom' - Movie Review
A still from 'Phantom'
Trade analyst Amod Mehra says, "Much was expected from 'Phantom' as it has been directed by Kabir Khan, who made the Rs 300 crore-plus 'Bajrangi Bhaijaan'. Though the film's day one earnings was average, the collections picked up very well on Saturday and Sunday. The film has received mixed reviews with the gentry liking it. Now 'Phantom' has to maintain steady business throughout this week for it to be declared a hit."
The film, which released on 2600 screens, grossed Rs 8.45 crore on Friday, but by the very next day, the collections rose by almost 51 per cent on account of the Raksha Bandhan fervour, notes trade expert Taran Adarsh. "It maintained the momentum on Sunday too," he adds.
The other two releases of last Friday — 'Baankey Ki Crazy Baraat' and 'Kaun Kitney Paani Mein' — failed to take off, says distributor-exhibitor Akshaye Rathi, adding: "Their performance was quite disappointing as they earned less than a crore each."
Rathi labels 'Phantom' as Saif's best film in the last couple of years in terms of business. "This film cut across single screens and multiplexes in big as well as small centres. It has a fairly positive word-of-mouth buzz. If you measure the film against standards of his last few films, this one seems to be his best BO performance since his last hit, 'Cocktail' (2012)," he states.
Rs 33.23 crore
'Phantom' (opening weekend)
Rs 5.2 crore
'Brothers' (week three; overall: R83.90 crore)