It had the glitziest premiere in Bollywood and has huge hopes pinned on it reversing the local film industry’s fortunes after a year of disappointments, but the Amitabh Bachchan starrer
saw such slow opening-weekend sales that some movie halls are worried.
Despite the stellar reviews from critics the movie had barely a 50 per cent occupancy on opening night. At FUN Cinemas the movie saw 10-15 per cent occupancy on the first day, with an advance booking of 20-25 per cent for the weekend. “Though we are expecting it to rise to 40-50 per cent thanks to the great reviews, we cannot expect a 70-80 per cent occupancy as people usually want commercial films,” says Deepak Taluja of FUN Cinemas.
Munish Sharma of Satyam Cinemas says, “It was not an 80-90 per cent mass opener but managed to get 40-45 per cent opening. But after the reviews the graph is looking up. We are hoping the film will pick up in the second week.” While the advance booking for the movie at PVR Cinemas was between 60 and 65 per cent for the weekend, the occupancy was about 55 per cent on day one. “It is one of those films that grow show by show,” says Amitava Vardhan of PVR Cinemas. At single screen theatres, the movie averaged 50 per cent occupancy. For some the openings did not even touch the 50 per cent mark.
SR Talwar, Senior Manager of Vishal Cinema says, “The opening was not good. On Friday we had a collection of around Rs 80,000 and that is not so great for a movie hall of our capacity.” 3C’s in Lajpat Nagar saw a collection of Rs 12,491 rupees for the first show, and the occupancy was about 49 per cent through the day. RK Malhotra, Manager of Delite Cinema Hall at Asaf Ali road, said, “On the opening day occupancy was around 50 per cent.” But he’s not worried, as he expects word-of-mouth to add to film’s revenues.