After a series of comedy films, Ajay Devgn seems to have reminded everyone of his Phool Aur Kante (1991) days with his latest release, Singham. According to film trade pundits, the Rohit Shetty flick has taken a flying start at the box office. “People are going to go mad. Singham will be an epic blockbuster,” says Komal Nahta, trade pundit and editor of koimoi.com. “This will surpass all of Ajay’s and Rohit’s previous films. The first weekend collections shouldn’t be less than Rs 30 to Rs 32 crore.”
The Bollywood remake of the 2010 Tamil flick starring Surya was made for a reported budget of Rs 50 crore. But Vikas Mohan, editor of Supercinema magazine, believes otherwise. “It would have been made within Rs 30 cr,” he says, adding that the morning shows in markets in Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh witnessed 80 to 90 per cent occupancy. “It’s a massy film and will be do excellent business. Ajay has given the best performance of his career.”
However, the morning show occupancy at multiplexes in the Northern belt isn’t impressive, with a reported 50 to 70 per cent turnout. “Since a chunk of the collections come from multiplexes, the film may suffer and fall short of its target. In the Ghaziabad and NCR region, it is doing well in single screens, but not in multiplexes,” says Vinod Mirani, tradesmith.
A significant downside, however, is the film’s music, which was composed by Ajay and Atul Gogavali aka Ajay-Atul. “It’s horrible,” says Bharathi Pradhan, editor, Film Street Journal. Mohan agrees: “If it had good music or even one good song, we don’t know what the film would have been capable of. But it has no popular track and that’s a big drawback.”
The out-and-out action film, also starring South actor Kajal Agarwal with Prakash Raj in a negative role, has made many relive the mindless action of the ’70s and ’80s. “Ajay and Rohit have both returned to their roots with this film and reminded us of what he was like in Phool Aur Kante. It has the raw power that action movies used to have,” says Taran Adarsh, trade analyst.
Though Singham seems to qualify as a ‘masala’ film and is expected to do well in the single screens, the amount of Marathi spoken in the film may prove to be a hindrance. “As far as the North is concerned, that may be a problem. But from the perspective of an action film, it is far more satisfying than Dabangg (2010) or Ready (2011),” says Amod Mehra, another trade guru.