Manikarnika The Queen of Jhansi to dominate box office across India, Thackeray may win Maharashtra, say analysts
As Kangana Ranaut’s Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi and Nawazuddin Siddiqui’s Thackeray clash ahead of Republic Day, film trade analysts predict the winner.Updated: Jan 24, 2019 16:11 IST
Kangana Ranaut’s Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi is set to clash with the Thackeray biopic at the box office this weekend. Starring Nawazuddin Siddiqui in the role of late Shiv Sena founder Bal Thackeray, the film is expected to do well in Maharashtra. Meanwhile, Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi seems to cater to much larger audience across India.
Talking about the clash, film trade analyst Komal Nahta says, “I think Manikarnika will open well. Thackeray will open well in Marathi in Maharashtra as the rest of India doesn’t really consider him as a national-level leader.”
Describing Manikarnika as a film that caters to a wide audience across generations, film exhibitor Akshaye Rathi says, “If you look at the budget and the pan India appeal, a lot of people will think that Manikarnika is a bigger film. But as charismatic and iconic a leader as Bal Thackeray was, there is huge excitement around Thackeray, primarily in Maharashtra. Of course, there will be takers outside the state, but it’s a Maharashtra-driven story. I am sure it will have a robust business in the state. Manikarnika is a story that has been really out there and to see that kind of a tale coming alive on the silver screen on a huge scale is exciting.”
Confirming Manikarnika’s chances of domination across India, Rathi said, “Manikarnika will obviously dominate across India but there will be a neck-to-neck scenario in the state (Maharashtra), especially with the Marathi and Hindi version of Thackeray coming together.”
He is, however, hopeful that the films can co-exist, “Republic Day is an occasion where two big films can co-exist together and do phenomenally well. The only thing that can affect their run is the demerit of their own content. Going by the trailer, both promise to reach out to the public in a big way.”
Talking about Kangana and Nawazuddin, Rathi said, “Thackeray can become Nawazuddin’s biggest solo grosser, essentially due to the charisma and iconic status of Bal Thackeray.” He added, “Kangana has delivered a Queen and Tanu Manu Weds Manu Returns, which were blockbusters and even did a film like Revolver Rani which didn’t even cross Rs 10 crore. More than the star value, the content of the film will take it forward.”
According to a report in Mumbai Mirror, in honour of Thackeray’s birth anniversary on January 23, the party’s film wing, Bharatiya Chitrapat Sena, has prepared a video of his pictures and famous speeches. Around 250 theatres across the Maharashtra have agreed to play the montage video before the national anthem. According to a PTI report, the makers said that the film will release in 1200-1300 screens in India and 400-500 overseas. They also intend to release the Marathi version in around 400 - 500 screens.
Meanwhile, Manikarnika: The Queen Of Jhansi will release in over 50 countries, in Hindi, Tamil and Telugu.
According to the reports, the release of Emraan Hashmi’s Why Cheat India was preponed to make way for Thackeray ahead of the Republic Day weekend. Why Cheat India, therefore, released on January 18 and failed to make a mark at the box office.
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