New Delhi: In a face-off anticipated for months, Shah Rukh Khan’s gangster drama Raees and Hrithik Roshan-starrer Kaabil simultaneously hit screens on Wednesday. As with any other Hindi film clash, trade experts agree both films have suffered by going head-on.
Khan’s action crime thriller directed by Rahul Dholakia made Rs20.42 crore on its opening day according to movie website Bollywood Hungama while the Sanjay Gupta directed film earned Rs10.43 crore. The former was released in about 3,100 screens while the latter managed between 2,300-2,400 screens.
“There is hardly any negative feedback for the two films. A good script and substantial promotional hype have worked to their advantage. But it’s pretty obvious that numbers will be divided,” said Atul Mohan, editor of trade magazine Complete Cinema.
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Mohan added that while the trade was looking at an impressive combined weekend collection, had either of the two films been a solo release, they could have easily notched up opening day collections of Rs25-30 crore, especially if released on Thursday, a holiday for Republic Day. While Friday could have fetched another Rs25 crore while Saturday and Sunday could have brought in another Rs30 crore each.
To be sure, this isn’t the first instance of a clash proving detrimental to the business of both the films concerned. During the much-publicized face-off in 2015, Khan’s own Dilwale and Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Bajirao Mastani had made Rs65 crore from less than 4,000 screens and Rs46 crore from 3,050 screens on their opening weekend respectively.
Trade experts had pointed out then that a Khan-starrer would ordinarily get 4,500 screens and make close to Rs75 crore in India within three days while a Bhansali film would earn at least Rs50-55 crore from 3,500-4,000 screens.
While most movies ordinarily do maximum business within the first weekend, there is much left to be decided post Monday. “It’s anyway the holiday weekend and advance bookings have been on for long. The actual test begins on Monday when the dust settles on the hype of the clash and better content takes lead,” Mohan said.