R... Rajkumar box office collections surprise in opening weekend, ink Shahid Kapoor’s biggest opener

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Several trade analysts had written off R... Rajkumar before its release, but its box office collections have made it emerge triumphant. Several trade analysts had written off R... Rajkumar before its release, but its box office collections have made it emerge triumphant.
SummaryR... Rajkumar is Shahid Kapoor’s biggest opener in terms of box office collections.

Shahid Kapoor-Sonakshi Sinha starrer R... Rajkumar opened to a good response. Despite mixed reviews, the film has managed to catch the attention of filmgoers, especially the masses. The day also saw the release of Sanjay Tripathy’s Club 60 which failed to make a mark.

Bonanza at the box-office

R... Rajkumar

was a complete underdog, as several trade analysts had written off the film, before its release. We all knew that it is a mass entertainer, but Bullett Raja’s performance the previous week had left a big question mark. The response, however, has been phenomenal, as the film has got a bumper opening in single screens and has done equally well at the multiplexes. We must understand that Prabhu Dheva’s films are pure entertainers. This proves that despite bad reviews, the audience made a choice of their own,” stated trade analyst Amod Mehra. According to sources close to the project, the film got an opening of Rs.10.10 crore on Friday. The collections dipped a little on Saturday at Rs.9.14 crore, but it picked up again on Sunday with Rs.11.35 crore. The film has done well in Delhi, Mumbai, CP, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan, while it has done average business in CI, East Punjab among others. With the overall budget of Rs.40 crore, the total weekend domestic opening was Rs. 30.59 crore net.

At G7 cinemas in Mumbai, there was 100 per cent occupancy in all the shows during the weekend. “Besides, even the Monday shows were housefull. I don’t see a major drop during the weekdays, since the audience response has been fantastic,” adds Manoj Desai, executive director, G7 cinemas. Rakesh Sippy, proprietor, Raksha exhibitors added that the film saw a 98 per cent occupancy on all three days at Chitra, Mumbai. “The film has got a bumper opening in almost every single screen across the country, despite the elections, India vs South Africa cricket match among others,” adds Sippy. He also stated that the film will do good business in the second weekend as well. The morning shows at multiplexes too are doing well. “Though the reviews might have affected the footfall by 10 per cent, people are still coming to watch the film. The pan India occupancy stands at 70 - 80 per cent,” mentioned Mayank Shroff, Manager - programming and film marketing, Cinepolis India.

On the other hand, the Farooque Shaikh - Sarika starrer Club 60 got off to a slow start, with just 10 -15 per cent occupancy in multiplexes. “With just one show in some theatres, Club 60 will find it very difficult to sustain at the box-office,” adds Mehra. But according to director Sanjay Tripathy, the film is doing well in the Mumbai circuit and some parts of Delhi.

Steaming out

Last week’s Saif Ali Khan-Sonakshi Sinha starrer Bullett Raja failed to make the cut. At the end of first week, the collections, according to Bollywood Hungama, stands at Rs.34.91 crore, with select multiplexes playing one show in the morning during the second week. Currently in its fifth week, the Ranveer Singh-Deepika Padukone-starrer Goliyon Ki Rasleela Ram-leela has select shows in Gujarat with 30-40 per cent average occupancy.

Hollywood numbers

The international release, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire-Panem did below average business. According to Shroff, the average occupancy at multiplexes was around 25 per cent, which is very weak compared to the bumper opening that it got in the US. Disney’s animated musical Frozen continues to do well in the second weekend, especially in cities like Mumbai and Delhi.

With four small films —Kaizad Gustad’s Jackpot, Dimple Kapadia-starrer What The Fish, Karan Raj Kanwar’s production venture Lucky Kabootar and Farooque Shaikh-Raima Sen starrer The Bastard Child releasing this Friday, exhibitors and trade analysts believe that R... will continue to do well. “The four films have no buzz and they belong to different genres. There is no way they will eat into R...Rajkumar’s share, and the film will continue to rule at the box-office,” opines Mehra.

Screen forecast

Our verdict

In the Screen issue dated December 6 - 12 2013, we stated that the fate of Shahid Kapoor - Sonakshi Sinha starrer R... Rajkumar will depend on how the audience accepts the film. We, however, erred in our prediction that the film will get a slow start at the box-office. Surprisingly, the film managed to get a good opening with 70 - 80 per cent average occupancy pan India.

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