After blitzkrieg promotions for a month, The Dirty Picture opened yesterday with approximately 1,500 prints, including the Hindi original and dubbed versions. Trade pundits point out that although the advance bookings hadn’t been too promising earlier in the week, the film has registered almost 100 % collections across single screens and multiplexes in different centres.
“It will rush through the weekend,” asserts Komal Nahta, editor of Koimoi.com, adding, “The advance bookings weren’t so huge, but since morning, the number of people turning up to watch the film has been on an upswing. This film should make at least Rs 70-75 crore across India, not counting the income from other sources.”
"It has everything to appeal to every socio-economic class and centre. Critics, single screen junta and the multiplex audience will lap it up. Those 10 % conservative members of the audience won’t matter in this case," he says, pointing out that No One Killed Jessica (2010) and Ishqiya (2010), both with a bold female protagonist played by Dirty Picture’s Vidya Balan, were loved by audiences.
"The sex scenes and dialogue are bold, not obscene. They are essential to the subject. It reminds me of Chetna (1970) which had enthralled audiences despite its bold content."
Made at a cost of Rs 17-18 crore, the film’s TV, music and distribution rights have already fetched producers Ekta Kapoor’s Balaji Telefilms and Alt Entertainment twice the money, according to trade insiders. "It’s a lottery ticket for the distributors," says Sanjay Ghai, a Delhi-based distributor from Mukta Arts. "They can celebrate Diwali in December again. Everyone involved is going to make huge bucks."
At the time of going to press, old school ’plexes like Gaiety and Galaxy in Bandra had sold all tickets for their shows up to Sunday evening. Multiplex chains had recorded 100 per cent ticket sales until late noon shows on Friday.
"Its opening is similar to that of a movie that toplines a male superstar," says Sunil Punjabi of Cinemax. Manoj Desai of Maratha Mandir and G7 theatres, seconds him: "I can go on a holiday till Monday afternoon, peacefully. We’re not making losses here."