It’s no secret now that the industry is going through one of its toughest phases. Most films are failing to take an initial at the box office and those that show a healthy weekend-trend are falling during the weekdays.
The last 3 weeks witnessed the release of three films featuring three rising stars in the industry. The more established Ranbir Kapoor came first with Jagga Jasoos. It was the most expensive film of the three and the biggest failure too.
Next up was Tiger Shroff with the director responsible for giving him his most successful films (Heropanti and Baaghi). Munna Michael took a decent opening at mass centres, but was rejected by the multiplex audience. The film will finish its run with less than half the collections of their last film ‘Baaghi’, which collected 77 crore at the domestic box office.
Last weekend was Arjun Kapoor’s turn to entertain the audience in a family film directed by Anees Bazmee. The opening was dismal, the trend over the weekend was outstanding, but business came down on Monday making it tough for the film.
With the industry desperately in need of a major success, the most consistent box office superstar returns for the second time this year with ‘Jab Harry Met Sejal’. Shah Rukh Khan’s Raees was the only Hindi film this year to record – what can be categorised as an ‘excellent’ box office opening. The film took a 20 crore start inspite of the fact that it was competing against a major film like Hrithik Roshan’s Kaabil.
However, surpassing ‘Raees’ and beating the opening numbers of ‘Tubelight’ will not be easy. While the response to the trailer and promos of ‘Jab Harry Met Sejal’ have been mixed, ‘Raees’ had arguably the best theatrical trailer in a very long time. The interest on the ground for ‘Jab Harry Met Sejal’ is fairly good at major cities, but the hype is nowhere close to ‘Raees’ anywhere, including metro cities.
However, the Shah Rukh Khan factor will come into play on Friday. After all, he is still one of the most loved stars that we have in the country today.
A 20 crore plus start for a film like ‘Jab Harry Met Sejal’ will be considered excellent, while anything below 17 crore will be average and less than 15 crore will be poor considering it has SRK along with one of the top female stars in the country.
The opening weekend of ‘Jab Harry Met Sejal’ will also answer several questions that have been discussed and debated within the industry and trade. Have audiences been saving up on money to watch a big star film? Has online services like Netflix, Amazon Video, Hotstar actually begun to reduce footfalls in theatres? Do romantic comedies still excite the audience?
This and many more questions will be answered as the industry awaits its biggest film since ‘Tubelight’. ‘Jab Harry Met Sejal’ has to collect more than ‘Jagga Jasoos’, ‘Munna Michael’ and ‘Mubarakan’ combined to get to a respectable lifetime total and also recover its costs.
While a strong weekend is important, the collections over the weekdays will probably be more important because most Shah Rukh Khan films in recent times, have opened well but failed to sustain Monday onwards. This time it’ll be even more important as the Imtiaz Ali directed film will be competing against ‘Toilet: Ek Prem Katha’ in its second week.