Considering that it is a partial holiday on April 17 on account of Mahavir Jayanti, there is some kind of advantage that Kalank could gain and that should reflect in the opening numbers.
The day of reckoning is not too far away. Come Wednesday and the biggest film so far of 2019, Kalank, would be hitting the screens. The biggie has sought an early release for itself as Mahavir Jayanti falls on April 17 (Wednesday).
Considering the partial holiday on this day, there is some kind of advantage that Kalank could gain for and that should reflect in the opening numbers.
No wonder, trade is pitching a very good start for the film, something that could well turn out to be the biggest opening of 2019.
Even though the year has seen quite a few hits, superhits and blockbusters already in just the first quarter so far, there are only four films that have managed a double digit score on the first day. These are Kesari, Gully Boy and Total Dhamaal. And along with the Bollywood biggies, there is Captain Marvel from Hollywood that managed to score big on the first day.
Currently, the record for the biggest opening this calendar year is held by Akshay Kumar's Kesari. The film did not just score a double digit opening day, it actually went way past that by collecting Rs 21.06 crore on the first day. The film had seen a Thursday release and though it was a partial holiday owing to Holi, it acted as a double edged sword. While audiences did come out in the evening and night shows in good numbers, the morning and afternoon shows were impacted in a big way due to theatres being closed.
On the other hand, Gully Boy, the second in line when it comes to the best opening of 2019, benefitted immensely from having a Valentine's Day release. The Ranveer Singh and Alia Bhatt-starrer enticed the youth. And while it was also a Thursday release, the advantage was there due to campus crowds thronging the theatres. As a matter of fact, the major chunk of this Zoya Akhtar-directed film's Rs 140 crore lifetime can well be owed to the Valentine's Day release.
Amongst these biggies, the film that trended the best was actually Total Dhamaal. The film saw a regular Friday release and that too right during the examination season. Still, the multi-starrer led by Ajay Devgn not just took a good opening of Rs 16.50 crore, it actually continued to gain momentum in days to come by going past the Rs 150 crore lifetime. There was competition that came from Luka Chuppi, Badla and Captain Marvel in weeks to come, but still the Indra Kumar-directed film added on to the successes that 2019 has seen so far.
Talking about Captain Marvel, it actually enjoyed one of the best starts ever for a Hollywood releases in India. The film is one of the few imports from the West to enjoy a double digit score on the first day of release. It did so by bringing in Rs 13.01 crore on the first day. The film could actually have turned out to be really big, considering the fact that Badla which released alongside was much lower at Rs 5.04 crore. However, the Sujoy Ghosh-directed crime thriller grew from strength to strength and surpassed the lifetime score of Captain Marvel.
While each of these four biggies (Kesari, Gully Boy, Total Dhamaal and Captain Marvel) have turned out to be a clean hit at the box office, Karan Johar and Sajid Nadiadwala’s Kalank has a job in hand. The first target it has in sight to emerge as the biggest opener of the year. Considering the kind of stage and platform that it has managed for itself, this should be possible.
The film has been very well marketed and promoted, and its release by Fox Star too would be the biggest so far of 2019. It is arriving at a time when no other film from the past or present is in contention. All Hindi films in the running (Kesari, Romeo Akbar Walter, Badla and Luka Chuppi) have exhausted their run and Hollywood releases Hellboy and Shazam! are hardly posing any competition.
Distributors as well as exhibitors are mighty excited about Kalank bringing back the audiences in a big way and are already aligning maximum number of shows for the film. Even on a conservative note, the film is set to be released at over 3,000 screens and this count could well hit 3,500 by the time the last set of prints are dispatched. That pretty much sets the stage for a huge opening for the multi-starrer that has Varun Dhawan and Alia Bhatt leading the show along with Sonakshi Sinha-Aditya Roy Kapur and Sanjay Dutt-Madhuri Dixit.
All that one waits to see now is how director Abhishek Varman has put together this intense dramatic romantic tale set in the period era. If the content matches the expectations, then it is not just the opening day but even the extended opening weekend and the week that could be set for a record run.
Top opening days of 2019:Kesari: Rs 21.06 crore
Gully Boy: Rs 19.4 crore
Total Dhamaal: Rs 16.5 crore
Captain Marvel: Rs 13.01 crore(Joginder Tuteja is a trade expert and film critic, and loves to talk and write about anything that is related to films. Views are personal)