'Neerja' registers an encouraging opening at the box office

Feb 23, 2016, 08:44 IST | Shilpi Sampad

Sonam Kapoor's 'Neerja' comes out with flying colours while three other releases, 'Direct Ishq', 'Ishq Forever' and 'Loveshhuda', of last week crash

It was a busy time for theatrical exhibitors last weekend — not because four films hit the marquee, but for the rush for Sonam Kapoor-starrer 'Neerja'. The Ram Madhvani biopic on slain flight purser Neerja Bhanot has registered an encouraging opening at the ticket counters, filling Bollywood coffers with Rs 22.01 crore in three days. And the audience response is looking to get only better.

Also read: 'Neerja' - Movie Review

Sonam Kapoor in a still from Neerja
Sonam Kapoor in a still from Neerja

Trade expert Amod Mehra says 'Neerja' had an average opening, but the strong word-of-mouth and critics' nod did a world of good to it. "It jumped by 80 per cent on Saturday and went further up on Sunday. In its very first weekend, it can be declared a winner," he says.

Elaborating on the day-wise business, trade analyst Taran Adarsh says the film went from strength to strength from its first show on Friday to the last one on Sunday.

"The business witnessed super growth towards evening and night shows on day one. The numbers multiplied rapidly, especially in metro centres. On day two, it saw extraordinary growth at mass circuits after slow business initially. Sunday was the best day in terms of collections," he explains.

With metros and multiplexes contributing handsomely to the film's economics, it is expected to dominate the audience's movie choices during week days, adds Adarsh. Neerja can now be safely labelled as the second superhit of 2016 after Akshay Kumar-starrer Airlift.

'Direct Ishq', 'Ishq Forever' and 'Loveshhuda', the other three romantic films which released alongside Sonam's film, failed to evoke any interest among moviegoers. "The romantic dramas proved to be box office tragedies," says Mehra.

Rs 22.01 crore
The first weekend business of 'Neerja', a biopic of flight purser Neerja Bhanot, 23, who sacrificed her life for the safety of 360-odd passengers on board a hijacked Pan Am flight

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