It’s ‘Half Girlfriend’ time in theatres this weekend and the movie arrives at a time when ‘Bahubali 2’ has completed 3 extremely successful weeks at the box office.
Factors driving the film:
- Chetan Bhagat: Films based on his novels have worked big-time at the box office and ‘Half Girlfriend’ is one of his bestsellers. It has a quirky title too that has generated quite a bit of curiosity, which should bring the audience – especially the youth – to watch the film on Friday.
- Arjun-Shraddha: Arjun’s last film, Ki and Ka, actually managed to exceed expectations on the opening day – collecting Rs 7.4 crore on Day 1. Shraddha’s presence is also expected to help at smaller centres – where her films like ‘Aashiqui 2’ and ‘Ek Villain’ worked big time.
- Mohit Suri is one of the better directors that we have in the industry. Music and romantic films are his forte, and if he has delivered then the film could begin to show growth Friday evening onwards.
- Pre-Ramzan period: The period just before the beginning of Ramzan does give a small boost to film business – as the muslim section of the audience come out in bigger numbers to watch films. However, the benefit of this may only be seen towards the end of the first week as Ramzan begins next Friday.
- Music: Two songs have done well, Baarish and Phir Bhi Tumko Chaahunga. It’s certainly nowhere close to ‘Tum Hi Ho’ or ‘Galliyan’ levels, but love songs like these tend to be more beneficial than songs like ‘Kala Chashma’ that add little or no value to the opening of a film.
Factors against the film:
- Period of release: It was expected to be a clean period of release – no major Hindi release after Badrinath Ki Dulhania, it was the extremely successful Post-IPL period and all the attention was expected to be on ‘Half Girlfriend’ prior to the release of the film. Unfortunately, the spectacular ‘Bahubali 2’ has changed all that. There is a screen crunch pretty much across the country – Bahubali 2 is still running successfully and has got a good share of screens and shows in Week 4. There’s Hindi Medium too, the pre-release reports of which are good. And then there’s Gurmeet Ram Rahim Insan’s Jattu Engineer that has managed to take away quite a few crucial screens up in the north. So it’s a muddled release period. The audience that has already spent a lot of money to watch ‘Bahubali 2’ has plenty of options in theatres if they want to watch a film this week. So ‘Half Girlfriend’ will have to be a good film to bring them to theatres. This, we think, is the single biggest factor against the film.
- Marketing campaign: The stars and also the writer-director were all over the place; but the lack of innovative marketing with not just this film but almost every film that releases – has probably made film marketing boring or completely redundant. City tours, interviews, television appearances may be helping in creating awareness, but it’s no longer selling tickets. It’s all about the trailer and the promos that are aired on television, internet etc. The campaign of Arjun’s Ki and Ka, we think, was a lot more effective but it was the concept of the film that provided scope.
IndicineFBO: We expect Half Girlfriend to collect Rs 9.2 crore on its opening day at the box office. Ideally, a 10-11 crore opening would’ve been a solid start for the film considering the star cast and Chetan Bhagat factor – but that looks difficult now given the ‘Bahubali 2’ wave. It’s important that ‘Half Girlfriend’ turns out to be a good film – only that can slow ‘Bahubali 2’ down and the Mohit Suri film can grow from there.