The trade pundits and the exhibition sectors are quite upbeat about the two big films that have hit the cinemas this Diwali, which include ‘Sooryavanshi’ and Rajinikanth’s ‘Annaththe’, which have got the box office ringing after nearly two years.
Atul Mohan said, “I have no words to describe this historical opening. Nobody would’ve thought this would happen. Everyone was thinking ‘Sooryavanshi’ would probably be in the ‘Bell Bottom’ range or a little better, as Maharashtra opened up and there are states that have allowed 100 percent occupancy. Everyone thought the opening day figure could be between 15 crores to 18 crores. Nobody expected such a big opening. People were expecting it won’t be any different than in the new normal, but it is turned out like the pre-COVID days only.”
Mohan added, “What ‘Bell Bottom’ earned in its lifetime, ‘Sooryavanshi’ has managed unjust one day. We had always said that we needed a film like ‘Sooryavanshi’ to help us revive our cinemas and it was only Akshay and Rohit’s cop drama that could revive the sector. That thought has been proved right and Rohit Shetty was right in his stand. ‘Whatever happens, I will release the film only in cinema halls’ and he kept his word. The exhibition sector is thankful to him. Although there was pressure on Rohit he took that stand and I don’t think there is any other film in the pipeline as big as ‘Sooryavanshi’, which could have helped in reviving the exhibition business.”
It has always been a tradition that the second-day collection of a film does drop and today being Bhai Dooj, there may be a dip in the box office. Mohan said, “Bhai Dooj is a big festival in the North. People are in transit so movies do take a back seat. There could be a jump on Sunday, which could be as big as the Friday number or even better.”
Mohan added, “The weekend could be between 70 crores to 80 crores and it might be possible to touch even 100cr, but Monday is very crucial. We need to see the kind of footfall the film gets on Monday.”
There are quite few films that promise to deliver at the box office. Adarsh said, “There is ‘Bunty Aur Babli 2’, ‘Tadap’, ‘Antim’, ‘Satyameva Jayate 2’ and ‘83’, so there is going to be very exciting from here on for the film industry.”
Film producer and trade expert Girish Johar said, “The fantastic start of ‘Sooryavanshi’ has demolished various notions of big screens taking a back seat or OTT being the premium screen for film makers. India is a growing market and Cinema Screen Entertainment is here to stay. Yes, content may become selective but big screen means big entertainment. And ‘Sooryavanshi’ is just that. The patience of the makers has paid off and this fantastic opening has assured a ‘HIT’ status already. Despite capacity restrictions the audiences have thronged to theatres on ‘Sooryavanshi’ Day 1 and that reiterates their faith in entertaining cinema. I am hoping that like other industries of travel and hospitality, the phenomenon of revenge cinema viewing comes into play here as well. I am pretty confident that the brilliant start of ‘Sooryavanshi’ will ensure that other forthcoming films will release with full throttle, too.”