New Delhi: The journey to the theatrical release of Padmaavat was far from being a smooth sailing, but the box office collections of Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s film show that it will see a happy ending.
The film, starring Deepika Padukone, Ranveer Singh and Shahid Kapoor, earned Rs192.50 crore at last count, emerging as possibly the only film to have released in January, a relatively slow period for movie business apart from the Republic Day weekend, that is inching towards the Rs200 crore mark. Other January hits in the past include Shah Rukh Khan’s Raees and Akshay Kumar’s Airlift, which stayed within the modest Rs150 crore category.
“After all the anticipation and ambiguity around the film, Padmaavat finally hit screens in January and definitely stood out with its large cinematic experience and some strong performances," said Ashish Saksena, chief operating officer-cinemas, BookMyShow. “It really helped that Viacom18 (the co-producers) pushed the film in all formats including 3D and IMAX, along with regional dubbed versions. Even though it received fair reviews from critics, the audience loved the film, making it extremely successful at the box office."
The same didn’t really hold true for other Hindi films of the month—Anurag Kashyap’s sports drama Mukkabaaz and Saif Ali Khan-starrer Kaalakaandi, which made Rs10.35 crore and Rs6.32 crore, respectively. Perhaps, the only saving grace was Vikram Bhatt’s modestly made horror film 1921, which earned about Rs15.79 crore. “Given its cost and the fact that it came in the period between Tiger Zinda Hai and Padmaavat, one should give the film its due," said film trade and exhibition expert Girish Johar.
It was an unimpressive period for Hollywood releases of the month too—political thriller The Post made about Rs3.24 crore, while supernatural horror film Insidious: The Last Key earned Rs6.32 crore. Spilling over from its late December release, adventure fantasy Jumanji: The Last Jungle collected about Rs51.60 crore though.
While Tamil heist film Thaanaa Serndha Koottam, an adaptation of Akshay Kumar’s Special 26 and Anushka Shetty’s horror thriller Bhaagamathie stood out among regional language offerings, there is already much to look forward to next month. The two films most impacted by the shuffle in Padmaavat’s release—Akshay Kumar’s Padman and director Neeraj Pandey’s Aiyyary will now see the light of the day. Besides, there is Marvel’s superhero film Black Panther.
“One is quite bullish about Padman. It seems to have got everything going for it, both in terms of messaging and marketing," Johar said.
All figures have been sourced from movie website Bollywood Hungama