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As Varun Dhawan and Alia Bhatt’s Kalank takes a good opening, The Tashkent Files delivers surprise success at box office

By Joginder Tuteja

Getting a mid-week release for itself, Kalank has seen a good opening at the box office. With Wednesday being a partial holiday, the film started quite well with Rs 21.60 crore coming on the first day. This is on the expected lines as the Karan Johar production was slated to open in the Rs 20-22 crore range.

The film has seen a very wide release and hence has the stage set for a healthy five-day extended weekend. What is required, though, is stability with consistent footfall. There was a drop on Thursday, which saw Rs 11.45 crore coming in. While that could be attributed to it being a working day, growth today would decide how far would this Abhishek Varman-directed film go. Since today is also a partial holiday for Good Friday, the film needs to show momentum so that it can take advantage during the rest of the weekend.

For Varun Dhawan and Alia Bhatt, this is a huge start as the collections are higher than their biggest so far, Dilwale and Gully Boy respectively. The film’s numbers are, in fact, far bigger than the last one that they did together, Badrinath Ki Dulhania. However, the cost of the film is quite high too at Rs 150 crore. Although a large chunk of this – around Rs 95 crore – has been recovered through sales of satellite, digital and music rights, there is still a substantial number waiting to be recovered through domestic theatrical release.

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Meanwhile, The Tashkent Files could well emerge as a small surprise success at the box office. Even though the film has seen a very small release for itself – 250 screens, which was further reduced to 150 screens after the mid-week release of Kalank – yet it has managed Rs 3.50 crore. That may come across as a very small number, but then this ensemble investigative thriller has been made at a very low budget, with the cost of release being minimal as well. Even at limited shows, the film is going houseful at many places, due to which one expects a long run at theatres.

On the other hand, Badla is enjoying a really long run. The film has another good week with a minimal drop from the week gone by and as a result, it currently stands at Rs 88.50 crore. The Amitabh Bachchan and Taapsee Pannu-starrer is still finding audiences, which is truly remarkable as it establishes how well it has been accepted by patrons. The film is still in the running at many theatres across major cities. Rest assured, director Sujoy Ghosh could well be celebrating the Rs 90 crore run of his crime thriller.

Another thriller in the running, Romeo Akbar Walter, had some more numbers trickle in during the week gone by. As a result, it has made Rs  42 crore mark. John Abraham has seen bigger successes in the past; and while this one would go past the lifetime run of his Madras Cafe (Rs 43 crore), it deserved better commercially. The Robbie Grewal-directed film has covered its costs though due to additional revenue coming from satellite, digital and music rights.

Meanwhile, Luka Chuppi celebrates its 50 day-run today. It is a rare feat for any film to do so in the current times but this Kartik Aaryan and Kriti Sanon-starrer has managed that. The only regret that the leading actors, as well as director Laxman Utekar and producer Dinesh Vijan, could possibly have is that their film just fell short of the Rs 100 crore club entry as it is closing in the vicinity of Rs 95 crore lifetime.

Note: All collections as per production and distribution sources