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Box office: Steady progress

Trade analysts call Rohit Dhawan's 'Desi Boyz' '100 percent profitable', but say 'A' rating has cost the filmmakers

Trade experts are divided in their opinion about the Akshay Kumar-John Abraham comedy, Desi Boyz that netted about Rs 27 crore across India till Sunday. According to them had it not been for the 'A' rating, the film would have earned 20% more in the first three days since its release on Friday



Komal Nahta, trade analyst and editor, koimoi.com, who pegs the initial earnings at Rs 28 crore, feels that the drop on Monday is manageable. "The producers, Eros, have already recovered 70 percent of their investment from sales of satellite and music rights and the subsidy from the UK Government.

So recovering the rest of the 30 percent of their investment of Rs 65 crore (including print and advertising) isn't difficult," he says, terming the Rohit Dhawan directed film "100 percent profitable." In the same vein, Delhi-based distributor, Sanjay Ghai, of Mukta Arts Ltd, too asserts that Desi Boyz won't be a flop. "Despite a slight drop, it's holding steady on Monday.

Rs 20 crore for satellite rights, Rs 5 crore for music and about Rs 6-8 crore from overseas, leave about Rs 25 crore to be made from theaters in India. So it will settle for an average earner by the end of its run," he sums up. On the contrary, another veteran trade analyst Amod Mehra asserts that the rebate had never been considered earlier.

"In that case, the interest on the investment should also be considered an additional part of the cost," he reasons, adding that the movie's earnings from the theatrical release in India won't cross Rs 50 crore. "That's about Rs 25 crore, which is not good as it cost the producers about Rs 70 crore," he reiterates, pointing that the film was rejected for three reasons.

"The hype was just not enough, the music is very average, and the A-rating dampened the people's enthusiasm to watch it. The subject of gigolos hasn't worked in US, so how can it work here?" he questions the point of making a film that doesn't cater to the masses.

Sharing Mehra's observation is a Mumbai-based head honcho of a national multiplex chain, who pegs the average occupancy at "50-55 percent." He too believes that the 'A' rating affected the opening by about 20 per cent and points out, "Akshay and John have considerable following among the under-18 age group.

So that audience was alienated by the 'A' rating," he maintains, quickly adding, "The film didn't generate a strong buzz. The marketing was weak and promotion was not up to the mark either."

The multiplex official also reveals that the audience didn't leave the theatre with a happy feeling. He attributes it to "high points missing" in the second half. He says, "The first half is decent, but the momentum is not maintained post interval. Rohit (the director) has tried to pack in everything within the duration."

All eyes are now on Milan Luthria's The Dirty Picture, starring Vidya Balan as Silk Smitha, reportedly modelled on the southern-siren. "This Ekta Kapoor production is looking hot and it's set to take a bumper opening," says the trade expert regarding the film that also features Emraan Hashmi, Tusshar Kapoor and Naseeruddin Shah.

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