After the roaring success of Shah Rukh Khan’s Pathaan, Bollywood posted two back-to-back duds — Kartik Aaryan’s Shehzada and Akshay Kumar’s Selfiee. Bollywood watchers were therefore hoping for a box office magic from Luv Ranjan’s Tu Jhoothi Main Makkaar, featuring Ranbir Kapoor and Shraddha Kapoor in the lead roles.
Made with a modest — by today’s standards — budget of about Rs.70 crore (Rs.50-60 crore was spent on production; rest on promotions), the movie’s opening stats haven’t disappointed so far. By 5:15 pm on March 8, it had posted Rs. 5.40 crore in net box office collections. According to movie critic and film business analyst Taran Adarsh, the top movie theatre chains saw a fair start — PVR had logged Rs. 2.58 crore by that time, INOX Rs. 1.80 crore and Cinepolis Rs. 1.02 crore.
As per industry-tracking website sacnilk, occupancy in the morning shows was 14%, which inched up to 17% for the afternoon shows. “TJMM evening shows are expected to show very good occupancy,” said Adarsh. “Delhi-NCR is in fast-forward mode already.”
So going by early estimates, the film, which released across 2,500+ screens, is set to rake in Rs. 13-14 crore at the box office by the end of Day 1. Luv Ranjan’s last directorial venture was the 2018 romantic comedy film Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety, which had earned over Rs. 6 crore on its first day of release.
The film’s performance numbers released by various industry websites show the movie had a better response — in terms of advance booking sales — than other releases of the year, save of course Pathaan. As per sacnilk, the film had sold approximately 84,000 tickets worth Rs.2.50 crore as of 7 pm on March 7. The advance bookings for the film crossed 100,000 at the ticket windows, which would make it the second biggest for a Bollywood
The early reviews for the movie were, of course, poor. In her review for The Indian Express, Shubhra Gupta said the writers of Tu Jhoothi Main Makkaar “clearly didn’t get the memo on brevity being the soul of wit”. Hindustan Times said the funny parts are extremely funny, and the boring parts are intolerably boring, it said.
Unauthorised leak was another stress point. As per News18, TJMM was leaked in full HD versions on various torrent sites like Filmyzilla, Tamilrockers, Movierulez and Telegram.
Karan Taurani, senior analyst at Elara Capital, said, “Overall box office revenue for exhibitors may see a decline of 10%-15% quarter on quarter due to Hindi content not doing well, except Pathaan, and no positive surprises in regional/English content. Ad revenue recovery remains at 70% of pre-Covid levels and may not show respite unless Hindi content comes back on track.”
Q1FY24 seems to be a healthy growth quarter for the Hindi box office as there are at least five large budget films which may surpass Rs. 100 crore each in terms of box office collections
“We have estimated a Hindi box office revenue recovery of 90% vis-a-vis pre-Covid in FY24 basis current viability on the slate of films,” said Taurani.