The jury on Bollywood’s love for nepotism may still be out but the opening weekend numbers of Karan Johar’s Dhadak show promise. The Jahnvi Kapoor and Ishaan Khatter-starrer netted around Rs33 crore over the first three days, according to trade website Box Office India. The figures are the highest ever for the opening weekend of a film starring new faces, including Johar’s own Student Of The Year (Rs25.6 crore) and Tiger Shroff’s Heropanti (Rs20.86 crore).
The Hindi remake of Marathi blockbuster Sairat may have garnered its share of brickbats for not staying entirely true to the original’s sensibilities but the Shashank Khaitan directed film showed ample growth over the weekend, beginning with a Rs8.5 crore on Friday and moving to Rs10.75 crore and Rs13.75 crore on Saturday and Sunday respectively.
“The film has definitely grabbed eyeballs among the youth though the overall impact of comparisons with Sairat may have been mixed," said film trade and exhibition expert Girish Johar. While segments like Maharashtra and the north where more people are aware of the Nagraj Manjule directed Marathi film and have loved it, may have thrown up lower numbers, relatively better markets for the film are Nizam / Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan, Central India, Bihar and Gujarat. In the latter parts, people have simply gone out of curiosity for a standalone film. Johar added the sympathy wave around Kapoor’s debut given mother and late actor Sridevi’s tragic death earlier this year coupled with Dharma’s strategic marketing among young audiences, have helped the film.
Given its relative lack of star appeal, Dhadak has also notched up a healthy weekend total overseas with collections of $1.2 million in three days with the Gulf , United States/Canada both contributing about $400,000 each.
Industry experts say the romantic musical should cross about Rs60 crore to be labelled a bonafide hit. Co-producers ZEE Studios is said to have bought the film for around Rs30 crore from Dharma and spent another Rs15 crore on prints and advertising.
“Monday is critical to see whether Dhadak ultimately has strong legs at the box office," Johar said predicting a Rs45-50 crore week one for the film.