Eid celebrations are around the corner once again, and this time around its Salman Khan’s arch-rival Shahrukh Khan with his first movie release since Yash Chopra’s Jab Tak Hai Jaan. The Eid / Independence Day period is considered to be the most lucrative period for Bollywood and with good reason – Dabangg, Bodyguard and Ek Tha Tiger have all been record breaking money-spinners at the box-office. A quick look at the opening day figures of each film reveals that business has grown by more than 45% every year.
- 2010: Dabangg (1800 screens) – 14.5 crore
- 2011: Bodyguard (2250 screens) – 21 crore (45% growth)
- 2012: Ek Tha Tiger (3300 screens) – 32.9 crore (56% growth)
This year, Chennai Express will be releasing on 3500-3600 screens across India, which is double the release size of Dabangg and approximately 10% more than Ek Tha Tiger. So, with one of India’s most bankable superstars Shahrukh Khan, top leading lady Deepika Padukone and the king of the 100 crore club Rohit Shetty – expectations are high that Chennai Express will get close or better the opening day record of Ek Tha Tiger.
However, we believe, the first day record will continue to stay with Ek Tha Tiger. The reason being, Chennai Express will have one of the widest ‘preview’ releases ever, as most multiplexes will be screening the film from 6PM on Thursday (8th August). The average number of shows at multiplexes is around 6 shows, with a few theatres running as many as 11-12 shows between 6-11:30PM (see below).
Collections for the preview shows should easily be in excess of 5 crore and could go as high as 10 crore if the general public is aware that Chennai Express is partially releasing on Thursday. Such a wide release would also significantly reduce its chances of breaking the opening day record.
Here you go then, the final box office predictions of Chennai Express.
Preview shows – 6 crore
NOTE: All figures below, excluding the first day, include collections from preview shows.
IF VERY GOOD (positive word-of-mouth)
- First day – 27 crore
- Weekend (3 day) – 75 crores
- Weekdays (Mon-Thu) – 45 crores
- Week 1 – 120 crores
- Final – 190 crores+ (Blockbuster)
IF AVERAGE (mixed response)
- First Day – 25 crore
- Weekend (3 day) – 70 crores
- Weekdays (Mon-Thu) – 40 crores
- Week 1 – 110 crores
- Final – 150 crore+ (HIT / Super Hit)
IF BAD (worst case scenario)
- First Day – 23 crore
- Weekend (3 day) – 64 crores
- Weekdays (Mon-Thu) – 29 crores
- Week 1 – 93 crores
- Final – < 110 crores (Average)
A few other points
- Even in the worst case scenario, Chennai Express is unlikely to ‘Flop’ at the box office. Shahrukh Khan’s most-hated film in recent times, Ra One, did business in excess of 100 crores.
- Like with every major release, the most frequently asked question is ‘Can Chennai Express break the 3 Idiots record if the word-of-mouth is good’. Well, the month of August is cramped with 3 major releases and Akshay Kumar’s Once Upon A Time In Mumbaai Dobaara releases barely 6 days after Chennai Express. A lot would depend on how well OUATIMD is received by the audience. If the Balaji production is liked, it significantly reduces the chances of Chennai Express to score big in the long run.
- Since CE has 2 holidays in its first weekend, it is likely to record the highest collections for the first weekend (including preview shows). Dabangg 2 currently holds the record with 65 crores in 3 days.
- It will be interesting to see how Chennai Express fares on Saturday, as most films that are ‘accepted’ by the audience tend to sustain well. Drops in the range of 30-40% would be excellent for a working day. Last year, Ek Tha Tiger dropped by 55% after a record-breaking holiday.
- Business in the south will be affected by Vijay’s Tamil release Thalaivaa, which also hits screens on 9th August.
- The runtime of Chennai Express (2 hours 22 minutes) wouldn’t be a problem. Films with runtimes in excess of 2 and a half hours make it difficult for exhibitors to run 5 shows per screen.
Please feel free to ask any Chennai Express box office related questions in the comments section below. Also, do post your own predictions!