Directed by Anurag Singh, who had actually started his Bollywood career with a well-made-but-forgotten thriller Raqeeb, Kesari brings to the fore an important chapter from India's history.
It is raining successes at the box office. 2019 has seen an unprecedented count of films either taking a good opening or starting well and then sustaining quite wonderfully to emerge as major successes. In that aspect, half the job has already been done for this week's big release, Kesari.
The Akshay Kumar-starrer has opened quite well at Rs 21.50 crore, which is on expected lines since the film was carrying good hype around it and the buzz too was strong en route its release. It was always on the cards that the Rs 20 crore-milestone would be breached by the film that has been produced by Akshay Kumar, Karan Johar and Sunir Kheterpal. The film has already achieved that and now it has to be seen how much further does the film go.
Directed by Anurag Singh, who had actually started his Bollywood career with a well-made-but-forgotten thriller Raqeeb (featuring Jimmy Sheirgill, Tanushree Dutta, Sharman Joshi and Rahul Khanna), Kesari brings to the fore an important chapter from India's history. It tells the tale of the Battle of Saragarhi which was fought back in 1897, when 21 brave Sikhs took on an army of 10,000 Afghans to save the Saragarhi fort.
After Raqeeb, Singh had made Punjabi cinema his own, with a flurry of successes–Yaar Annmulle, Jatt & Juliet, Jatt and Juliet 2, Disco Singh, Punjab 1984, and Super Singh.
The film has largely opened to very good reviews, with the audience word-of-mouth being positive as well, giving the right indications of a sustained run ahead. Of course, the partial holiday of Holi helped the film and it would now be about the kind of growth that the film sees over the weekend. The manner in which it is currently going, it is expected that the extended four day weekend should see collections in the vicinity of Rs 85 crore, which would be the best start for any film in 2019.
Meanwhile, Badla continued to do quite well in the second week as well. After collecting Rs 38 crore in the first week, the Sujoy Ghosh-directed film brought in around Rs 29 crore more, resulting in an overall collection of Rs 67 crore so far. This is fantastic since a film belonging to this genre (suspense thriller) has restricted audiences and for the Shah Rukh Khan and Sunir Khetarpal production to reach this far is a remarkable feat indeed.
For Amitabh Bachchan and Taapsee Pannu, the film has emerged as their biggest success together. Their Pink had collected Rs 65.39 crore in its lifetime and now Badla is set to go much farther from there. As a matter of fact, its competition would be with two other films belonging to this genre, both of which had gone past the Rs 70 crore lifetime in their eventual run.
Ajay Devgn's Drishyam is the biggest of the lot as its lifetime stood at Rs 77 crore. On the other hand, Ayushmann Khurranna's Andhadhun, which had released last year, had collected Rs 75.60 crore. The manner in which Badla is going currently, it should definitely emerge as the biggest and is set for a lifetime in excess of Rs 80 crore, which would be a remarkable achievement. In fact, that would also mean a personal record for Amitabh Bachchan as barring Thugs of Hindostan (where he had a supporting role to play), his Piku with Deepika Padukone had collected Rs 80 crore.
While Badla is a bona fide superhit now, another film with youngsters on the block, Luka Chuppi, is consolidating its superhit status as well. The film has been doing well right since its release and after an opening of Rs 8.01 crore, it has done more than 10 times its business already with around Rs 87 crore in its kitty.
For Kartik Aaryan and Kriti Sanon, the film is a major success already and is now narrowly going to miss out on the chance to enter the Rs 100 crore club. The film could well have made a dash towards this if not for the India-Australia cricket series that came bang in the middle of its run.
There was also major competition from Total Dhamaal, Badla and Captain Marvel, all of which brought in close to Rs 300 crore between them, resulting in at least a bit of the audience ratio getting diverted from Luka Chuppi which would now close in a range of Rs 93-95 crore.As for the new releases of the week gone by, Photograph, Milan Talkies, Mere Pyare Prime Minister and Hamid, they have all turned out to be commercial disasters with a collective lifetime of less than Rs 3 crore.