A few hours before the fourth season of the Indian Premiere League (IPL) kickstarted on Friday, Akshay Kumar’s co-production with UTV Motion Pictures, Thank You, commenced its theatrical run. According to a section of trade, it opened to occupancy rates lower than Faltu, Vashu Bhagnani’s re-launch movie for his son Jackky, that released on April 1, along with Game, which has already been written off.
Sanjay Ghai, COO, Mukta Arts Ltd, attributes the slow start of Thank You to the ‘ghisa-pita’ (done-to-death) content. “The story is not new and the score is not great either. The movie is low on entertainment quotient,” he says, adding that although it is faring better with the masses, the multiplex audience doesn’t seem to have liked it. “So, it’s unlikely that the film will sustain after averaging a 35 per cent opening.” Comparatively, Faltu opened with 40 per cent in 890 screens.
There’s plenty of debate on the first day collections of Thank You that opened in 1,600 screens across the country. While Ghai and Pramod Arora, CEO, PVR Cinemas, peg day one figures at about Rs 6 crore net, Suniel Wadhwa of 52 Weeks Entertainment Inc and veteran trade analyst, Amod Mehra, say it’s below Rs 5 crore. “It’s Akshay’s lowest opening in the recent times. Even flops like Khatta Meetha fared better,” says Mehra.
Sharing Mehra’s view, Wadhwa adds that Faltu is holding its own against Thank You with Rs 1.5 crore net on its second Friday. “People who’ve seen Masti, No Entry and Shaadi No 1 will find Thank You repetitive. At best, the weekend will see a marginal improvement,” he says.
UTV Motion Pictures maintains that they have pre-booked Rs 45 crore of the Rs 50 crore production cost through territorial sales, music, satellite rights and home video rights sales. But trade experts assert that Thank You costs Rs 70 crore when you include print and publicity costs, and will find it difficult to break even.
Wadhwa says the distributors will lose on Thank You, while Faltu will easily net a profit of Rs 5 crore. Ghai endorses the opinion and says that now he has his hopes pinned on Dum Maaro Dum to take on the IPL fever even though leading man, Abhishek Bachchan’s Game (last Friday’s release) is a disaster. He says, “The buzz is strong, and the failure of Game won’t affect this Bachchan film.”
At the box-office
Rs 4.50 – Rs 5.25 crore
Rs 4.75 – Rs 6.00 crore