With big-ticket films Ram Setu and Thank God opening to moderate footfall, trade analysts say the Diwali releases may not be able to cross Rs 100-crore mark
Diwali releases are synonymous with starry offerings that generate tremendous hype and heavy footfall, thus bringing in much box-office cheer. Even in the difficult year that was 2021, Rohit Shetty and Akshay Kumar’s Diwali offering Sooryavanshi brought hope to Bollywood. This year, all eyes have been on Kumar’s Ram Setu and Ajay Devgn-Sidharth Malhotra’s Thank God in the hope that the two festival releases may bring a wave of success in an otherwise underwhelming year for Hindi cinema.
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The two-day collection of Ram Setu, which opened in about 2,900 screens, stands at Rs 26.65 crore, after it earned Rs 15.25 crore on Tuesday, following it up with Rs 11.40 crore on Wednesday. As per early projections, Abhishek Sharma’s directorial venture may earn close to Rs 10 crore on its third day. The film, also starring Jacqueline Fernandez and Nushrratt Bharuccha, may well see an uptick in the figures over the coming weekend. Malhotra’s comedy Thank God started off relatively slower across 2,500 screens, with an opening of Rs 8.10 crore, before going on to add another Rs 6 crore to its tally on Wednesday.
Manoj Desai, executive director, G7 cinemas, says that while both movies are steadily making money at the box office, the figures aren’t on par with big-ticket festival offerings. “Ram Setu and Thank God are [almost] on equal footing right now. Neither of them is having house-full shows, which is why I feel [each of] their lifetime numbers won’t cross the Rs 100-crore mark. The problem is that the advance booking for single screens started only on Monday evening [while multiplexes opened last week]. People forget that single screens are major contributors [to the collections of] such films. Both movies recorded 70 per cent occupancy on the holidays,” he states, before adding that on Thursday, the occupancy could have dropped to 40-50 per cent.
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The surprise winner this week was the Kannada film, Kantara, which continued the trend of south films dominating the box office. The thriller, which hit the marquee on September 30, has of late found a new audience in Hindi cine-goers, thanks to its strong word of mouth. Trade analyst Ramesh Bala says, “The Hindi version has earned Rs 30 crore. They are increasing the screen count on Friday. In Karnataka alone, Kantara has made R125 crore. The film may make an additional Rs 100 crore, if it sustains for three weeks in other languages.”
Two-day collections of Ram Setu and Thank God respectively