When R…Rajkumar released last week, almost all the reviews rode against it. With Bullett Raja too failing to gather steam, the whole concept of an action film not working anymore started gaining ground.
Nevertheless, true to director Prabhu Deva’s repertoire in Bollywood, his film is doing above average at the marquee. In fact, it marks Shahid Kapoor’s biggest opening till date while it saves Sonakshi Sinha blushes after three back-to-back box office duds.
What’s intriguing about this particular film is its pre-release was written off right away, thus creating the perception that even the masses won’t like it. Going by Friday, that was pretty much the case. “Friday saw about 32-35 per cent occupancy, amounting to north of Rs 10 crore. In an ideal case, it should have been 60 per cent. So not exactly an incredible figure but this is clearly Shahid’s best opening. However, Saturday saw a decline in the collections while Sunday proved better,” informs trade analyst Amod Mehra.
According to exhibitor Rajesh Thadani, R…Rajkumar crossed Rs 27 crore over the weekend. “For a film made at an estimated cost of R60 crore, including the P&A (promotion and advertisements), it should have made more. But then, it has barely any opposition from other films. It might catch over the weekdays. Even The Hunger Games: Catching Fire failed to throw a challenge.”
Speaking of the high-grossing Hollywood franchise, it surprised the trade pundits. “Since the popular sci-fi adventure received 90 per cent occupancy in the US, we were aiming for 40 per cent here. Unfortunately, at the end of the weekend, it managed about 25 per cent flat,” says our source at a multiplex in the city.
In a similar vein, Club 60, starring Farooque Shaikh and Sarika failed to make the most of the positive reviews it earned. “Let me say the way things are: there are films made for cinema halls and then there are those made for television. In the West, the filmmakers understand the difference. In our country, they don’t,” adds Mehra on Sanjay Tripathi’s directorial debut.