Before the race for the box office started on Friday, Rajkahini (Srijit Mukherji’s film on Partition), Byomkesh Bakshi (Anjan Dutt’s film) were the favourites in the six Bengali films released this Durga Puja. But after the first three days of business, the picture has changed a bit with Katmundu, Raj Chakraborty’s travelogue and Shudhu Tomari Jonyo, Birsa Dasgupta’s love drama running neck and neck with the leaders.
Cross Connection 2, directed by Abhijit Guha and Sudeshna Roy, is lagging behind with Antim Jatra starring Saumitra Chatterjee not featuring even in the race.
Trade experts, however, feel that all the films will do even better in the box office from Saptami onwards.
“It has been an exceptional pre-puja weekend for Bengali films. Rajkahini and Byomkesh Bakshi are joint winners, and Shudhu Tomari Jonyo is close second, followed by Katmundu. On Panchami, the collection of Katmundu picked up,” said Subhasis Ganguli, the regional director of Inox.
Ganguli also said that Bengali films are running almost houseful at Inox theatres. “All the five films, which released this puja, have strong story lines,” he said.
Srijit Mukherji, who is basking in the success of Rajkahini, posted on Facebook on Sunday, “For the numerically oriented, ?#?Rajkahini housefull at Priya, Star, South City, Hiland park and 80% at Rajarhat and City Centre. Congratulations to the team!:).”
Arijit Dutta, owner of Priya Cinema, is excited that Bengali films are running to packed houses. “Rajkahini and Byomkesh Bakshi are doing great business. Katmundu is doing exceptionally well in the noon show. So, all the three films are generating good business at Priya,” he says.
Ask Dutta whether Shahid Kapoor and Alia Bhatt starrer Shandaar, which releases next week, will dampen the box office collection of the Bengali films, and he remarked, “Priya is quite packed now. So, I don’t know if we will have shows for Shandaar at Priya at all.”
A spokesperson of single screen theatre Roxy, which is running Rajkahini, Byomkesh Bakshi and Shudhu Tomari Jonyo, said, “On Sunday, Rajkahini had 80 per cent occupancy, Byomkesh Bakshi had 50 per cent occupancy and Shudhu Tomari Jonyo witnessed 60 per cent occupancy.”
He, too, thought sales will pick up from Saptami.