Shah Rukh Khan’s ‘Jab Harry Met Sejal’ was below-the-mark on its opening day at the box office, with collections of Rs 15.25 crore on Friday. The Day 1 business is similar or slightly higher than Imtiaz Ali’s last film ‘Tamasha’, which collected Rs 11 crore on its opening day – but it had a lesser star, released on 2000 screens two years ago and the average ticket price was significantly lower too.
In fact, ‘Jab Harry Met Sejal’ has all-time highest average ticket price at multiplexes, even higher than films like ‘Bahubali 2’ and ‘Tubelight’. Higher ticket rates is not necessarily a good thing from a business point of view, because it could have an impact on the occupancy levels in theatres.
The opening of ‘Jab Harry Met Sejal’ is lower than SRK’s last film ‘Raees’ which was involved in a box office clash with Hrithik Roshan’s ‘Kaabil’. ‘Raees’ was a film that appealed to a wider section of the audience, especially at smaller cities and towns where ‘Jab Harry Met Sejal’ hasn’t even got an initial. The lead star is the same in both films, in fact here we have a top female star like Anushka Sharma in a commercial film, but it’s the treatment that discouraged the audience from queueing up at theatres on Friday.
Amongst 2017 releases, ‘Jab Harry Met Sejal’ has taken the third best opening of the year after ‘Tubelight’ and ‘Raees’. But the occupancy wasn’t that much higher than films like ‘Jolly LLB 2’ and ‘Badrinath Ki Dulhania’ – those films were desi entertainers and had something in it for audience at smaller cities.
On the all-crucial Day 2, ‘Jab Harry Met Sejal’ has slipped at multiplexes with occupancy dropping by 15-20% from Friday morning levels. At some places the drop is as high as 30% from Friday. This could be because Shah Rukh Khan films get higher footfalls on Friday morning, as his fans do watch his films ‘first day first show’.
Business is expected to escalate in the night. Occupancy for shows from Saturday evening onwards are crucial for such films, but there is uncertainty and fear within the industry and trade because the reports are dismal.
Due to high costs and a disappointingly low starting total, ‘Jab Harry Met Sejal’ Day 2 box office collections need to grow by atleast 20% growth today, which would mean collections in the 18-19 crore range and a 21 crore plus total tomorrow. That kind of growth will take the film to a 55 crore first weekend – which wouldn’t be enough, but it would suggest a healthy trend and help the film take advantage of the partial holiday for Raksha Bandhan.
Update: Official Day 1 collections, Rs 15.25 crore.