It was an average day at the box office for Hindi movies, as collections stayed underwhelming.
Since Brahmastra had given the momentum, it was expected that Vikram Vedha would carry it forward and bring in Rs 14-15 crore in ticket sales on Day 1. After all, Hrithik Roshan was returning to the big screen after three years and the presence of actor Saif Ali Khan and directors Gayathri-Pushkar added much heft.
However that was not the case, and collections stayed much lower, at Rs 10.25 crore*. Even if they had come in at around Rs 12-13 crore, it would have indicated footfalls beyond the advance booking patrons. However as it turned out, the current bookings didn't quite go on a rampage even by the evening shows, something that was expected given the positive reviews.
One has to acknowledge, though, that even the Tamil original wasn't a big commercial hit. Yes, R. Madhavan and Vijay Sethupathi gave top-notch performances, and the director duo had also ensured that there was good entertainment in store. That said, even in the south the film catered primarily to the intelligentsia who were happy to see some masala quotient in there. Same is the case with the Hindi version, with little to offer the masses beyond a few action sequences - for the multiplex audience, however, there is food for thought.
What remains to be seen is how much is the kind of growth that comes in for the action drama between today and tomorrow. Ideally, there should be 30 percent growth on both days because only then will the film manage to have a weekend of over Rs 40 crore - this is an expensive film, and while satellite and OTT rights will of course take care of the budget, at the end of the day a big film like this is made primarily for 'cinema first' viewing instead of home viewing.
This is the reason why Mani Ratnam's Ponniyin Selvan: 1 [PS-1] has stayed true to its audience down south and this is where it saw a very good opening as well. In its Tamil version, the film has opened quite well and added footfalls have come in from the Telugu, Kannada and Malayalam versions as well. As for the Hindi version, the numbers which would come in are added bonus since, beyond the scale, grandeur and visuals, there isn't much for the non-south audience to absorb due to the historic and region-centric appeal.
No wonder, with the Hindi version bringing in Rs 1.85 crore* on the first day, even that's been looked at as rather reasonable. After all, when so many Bollywood releases are also struggling to open well in theatres, a film like PS-1 has come and found a fair share of audience for itself. Though one doesn't expect remarkable growth in Hindi for the film, as long as they stretch well to lead to a Rs 10 crore lifetime, it would be fair enough for the Vikram, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Karthi, Jayam Ravi and Trisha starrer.
As for Brahmastra, it has crossed the Rs 250 crore milestone over the week gone by and then also surpassed 253 crores score of The Kashmir Files to emerge as the highest grossing Bollywood film of 2022.
Yes, RRR and KGF: Chapter 2 have done better in their Hindi versions but when it comes to keeping the ship afloat for Bollywood, the Ranbir Kapoor and Alia Bhatt starrer has done its job. The film currently stands at Rs 256.50 crore* and should cross Rs 260 crore over the weekend. Post that it would be aiming for a lifetime in the Rs 270-275 crore range.*Estimates. Final numbers awaited