'Udta Punjab', which witnessed a big hype upon its release, has received a mixed response at the box office so far, say trade experts.
The film is nearing the Rs 50 crore mark, but entering the Rs 100 crore club seems to be an uphill task especially since a buffet of films including Anurag Kashyap's “Raman Raghav 2.0” and Hollywood movie 'Independence Day: Resurgence' are set to hit the screens on June 24.
The Abhishek Chaubey directorial, which released on June 17 and has been co-produced by Phantom Films and Balaji Motion Pictures, faced problems in seeking a release certificate from the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC), who first suggested as many as 89 cuts in the movie. Later, the Revising Committee slashed it to 13 cuts.
But the makers moved the Bombay High Court which overruled the CBFC-recommended cuts to the film and cleared it for release with just one cut and three disclaimers by the filmmakers.
After minting Rs 33.80 crore in its opening weekend, “Udta Punjab” witnessed a decline of over 50 per cent in its numbers on Monday, according to trade analyst Taran Adarsh.
“'Udta Punjab': Friday Rs 10.05 crore, Saturday Rs 11.25 crore, Sunday Rs 12.50 crore, Monday Rs 4.50 crore. Total: Rs 38.30 crore. India biz,” Adarsh posted on Twitter on Tuesday.
The film, which stars Shahid Kapoor, Alia Bhatt, Kareena Kapoor Khan and Diljit Dosanjh, is based on drug abuse in Punjab.
“The hype didn't work at all (for 'Udta Punjab') because even after so much controversy, it is clear that public was shy of coming to theatres. They thought that the film features a lot of abusive language. Particularly, the ladies have refrained from coming to watch the film. The whole theme of the film is lost in vulgarity,” trade expert Amod Mehra told IANS.
“Right now, it should first cross the Rs 50 crore mark. Rs 100 crore mark looks difficult. All the hype has actually backfired at the makers because ultimately the film had a very bad taste and people are reluctant to go to see the film,” he added.
Adding to that, Delhi-based distributor Joginder Mahajan said: “The film has not received good response in single screens. It has only managed to get footfall at multiplexes. The film is getting the same response that 'Dev. D' and 'Delhi Belly' received upon their release.”
It would be interesting to see whether “Udta Punjab” will be able to survive at the box office in its second week when it will face stiff competition from “Raman Raghav 2.0”, “Shorgul”, “A Scandall” and “7 Hours to Go”. The line up also includes Punjabi film “Sardaar Ji 2” and Hollywood's highly anticipated project “Independence Day: Resurgence”.
“I feel 'Independence Day' will steal the limelight. If we look at the response that Hollywood films have received in the domestic market in the last few weeks, then 'Independence Day' is a clear winner. Even expectations are there from 'A Scandall'. 'Udta Punjab' will definitely lose screens and its business will get affected,” Mahajan said.
Mehra said it would be good if “Udta Punjab” will be able to recover its production cost in the coming days.
“If the film will be able to recover its production value in coming days, then that will be good. Chances are strong that 'Udta Punjab' will get wiped out by this Friday,” he said.
Shedding more light on the box office response to “Udta Punjab”, distributor Rajesh Thadani told IANS: “The collection of 'Udta Punjab' is pretty decent considering its genre. For a dark film, the response is quite good. If the film manages to sustain in weekdays, then nothing like it."