Akshay Kumar and Kareena Kapoor starrer Kambakkht Ishq that released on Friday has recorded an impressive collection at the box office by raking in a whopping Rs.19 crore (Rs.190 million) worldwide on its opening day.
Despite mixed reviews and a major thumbs down from the audiences for its weak storyline, the romantic comedy heated up the box office with its first day collections. It has certainly carried forward the positive trend set by Kabir Khan's New York, which released June 26 after a long lull, thanks to a revenue sharing row between the producers and multiplex owners.
Both movies have brought some respite for the Hindi film industry, which saw losses to the tune of Rs.3.5 billion due to the strike and failure of movies like Kal Kissne Dekha, Paying Guests, Let's Dance, Chandni Chowk To China and Delhi 6.
"Kambakkht... is a masala film for masses in comparison to New York and it is doing exceptionally well in the B and C grades of the audiences too while the latter is only meant for the gentry class. However, both have full chances for business until the next big-budget movies like Luck (July 24) and Love Aaj Kal (July 31) hit theatres," Joginder Mahajan, a Delhi-based distributor told IANS.
A source from PVR cinemas said: "We are having jam packed shows for Kambakkht... and the weekend was housefull, but we are also getting crowd for New York too."
Amit Awasthi, manager (programming and operations) of Spice Cinemas, Noida however says the Akshay starrer won't be able to sustain much.
"We had 19 shows housefull both on Friday and Saturday and 16 shows full on Sunday but the film will fall to about 50 percent Monday onwards because of its weak storyline vis-a-vis 'New York' that sustained Monday (on its fourth day) onwards by up to 75 percent. Majority of the audience is disappointed with Akshay's film and it doesn't look it will stretch further due to bad word of mouth," said Awasthi.
Co-produced by Sajid Nadiadwala and Sunil A. Lulla, Kambakkht Ishq has been made at a budget of Rs.40-45 crore (Rs.400-450 million) and it grossed around Rs.12 crore (Rs.120 million) domestically and about Rs.7 crore (Rs.70 million) overseas while New York grossed around Rs.350 million worldwide over the opening weekend.
Directed by debutant Sabbir Khan, the film released across India, Pakistan, Britain, US, Australia, Europe, South Africa, Fiji Island, Middle East and Malaysia, among others.
Distributed worldwide by Eros with around 2,000 prints worldwide, Kambakkht... hit more than 1,400 screens in India and about 600 overseas in a combination of prints and digital format, while Yash Raj Films released New York over 900 screens across the world.
Both films had massive advance bookings and continued to register more demand from the viewers after the first day. In fact the advance bookings for Kambakkht... opened three days ahead of the normal booking opening day (generally Wednesdays) on June 28 (Sunday).
New York, starring John Abraham, Katrina Kaif, Neil Nitin Mukesh and Irrfan Khan, is about three friends whose lives change post the 9/11 terror attacks on the twin towers, while Kambakkht Ishq is a romantic comedy shot in Hollywood.
The highlight of Kambakkht Ishq is death-defying action sequences. It also has much publicised cameos by Hollywood stars like Sylvester Stallone, Brandon Routh and Denise Richards.
The industry is now pinning hopes on forthcoming big-budget releases like Luck, Love Aaj Kal and Kaminey to keep the ticket counters buzzing.