By Alokananda Chakraborty
Will Brahmastra prove to be a Rambaan for Bollywood? The Ranbir Kapoor-Alia Bhatt starrer film could help Bollywood get back on track after a nightmarish year, which has seen back-to-back flops from the most bankable stars like Aamir Khan and Akshay Kumar.
Brahmastra: Part One: Shiva is believed to have fetched Rs 35-plus-crore in net box office earnings on Friday when the film was released in the theatres. Kapoor’s Sanju, released in 2018, had brought in Rs 34.5 crore on the opening day.
Weekend bookings for Brahmastra, which cost Rs 410 crore to make, and has been in the works for five years now, are reportedly decent.
“It has opened well across markets in both single-screen halls and multiplexes,” Taran Adarsh, film critic and trade analyst told FE. Movie marketers say the build-up around the film’s release has helped tweak curiosity, a key factor driving first weekend walk-ins at theatres. “For an industry going through such a bad phase, this comes as a great relief,” Adarsh, said.
Brahmastra looks set to reach Rs 35 crore on its opening day, trade analyst Sumit Kadel tweeted.
Boxofficeindia.com said on its site that the film had an “excellent opening of around 45-50% with many cinemas seeing 100-plus audience in the morning shows”.
The report noted that although the occupancy rate may be lower than that for Sanju, given ticket prices are now higher, the film has a chance to become the biggest Ranbir Kapoor opener. “The opening in mass pockets is lower compared to the bigger centres but it is still much higher than anyone could have expected a week back,” the report said.
The Telugu-dubbed version reportedly has advance bookings of over Rs 3 crore. It has helped that stars like Jr NTR have been promoting the film in the southern markets; he was chief guest at one of the many pre-release events hosted in Ramoji Film City in Hyderabad.
Bollywood badly needs a hit. By one estimate, a clutch of ten films starring seven of Bollywood’s top actors – Akshay Kumar, Ranveer Singh, Ajay Devgn, Varun Dhawan, Saif Ali Khan, John Abraham and Shahid Kapoor – and with a combined budget of Rs 1,100 crore, managed to make just about a third of the amount at the box office.
Laal Singh Chaddha, which was released on August 11, saw Day 1 box office collections of just Rs 11.50 crore, according to Boxofficeindia. Akshay Kumar starrer Rakshabandhan, which was released on the same day, earned around `8 crore. While Laal Singh Chaddha appeared to do well in the Delhi-NCR and Punjab markets, Rakshabandhan got its best response from the Hindi belt and the Gujarat-Rajasthan circuit, but it was a dud in Mumbai, Pune, Kolkata, Bengaluru and Hyderabad. The first weekend on, it was downhill for both, especially the Akshay Kumar film.