New Delhi: Bollywood’s new releases aren’t doing much to dent the collections of its older offerings whose collections continue to boom. Akshay Kumar’s period saga Kesari netted ₹2.5 crore on its third Saturday taking its 17-day total to ₹139 crore. The film is currently the actor’s second biggest hit of all time, after the Hindi version of science fiction flick 2.0 co-starring Rajinikanth that had made ₹185.89 crore.
“Kesari picks up speed on third Saturday. The journey thereafter - towards ₹150 crore is dependent on how it trends on weekdays and the fourth weekend," tweeted trade analyst Taran Adarsh.
Trade website Box Office India said Kesari will be the highest grossing film of 2019 in east Punjab beating Uri - The Surgical Strike, thanks to its narrative that is centered on a Sikh army officer. It could also be the top ranker in Rajasthan beating ensemble comedy Total Dhamaal. The Anurag Singh directed film has about a week-and-a-half before another big release, Dharma Productions’ Kalank takes over, leaving little screen space.
The other film that has surprised trade experts and is only now nearing the end of an impressive box office run is mystery thriller Badla featuring Amitabh Bachchan and Taapsee Pannu. The film has crossed the ₹85 crore mark in the domestic market alone, with appeal particularly for metro audiences. Adarsh said the film was also nearing the $5 million mark in international territories, with its current total standing at $ 4.95 million ( ₹34.25 crore), including $ 1.86 million in the US and Canada, $ 1.89 million in the UAE and Gulf, $ 289,000 in Australia, $ 284,000 in the UK and $ 619,000 from the rest of the world.
To be sure, older hits like Kesari and Badla continue to sustain as there is little that theatres have to offer in terms of new releases. John Abraham’s spy thriller Romeo Akbar Walter (RAW) and Hollywood superhero flick Shazaam! only managed ₹12.25 crore and ₹7.25 crore over their opening weekends at last count. The collections of RAW are a huge drop for Abraham whose last release Satyameva Jayate had made ₹20 crore on its first day alone, albeit with the Independence Day holiday. The film is trending similar to the actor’s other recent release, Parmanu: The Story of Pokhran that had picked up later, making close to ₹65 crore but Box Office India said the older film was an action drama that had appeal even beyond the youth, which doesn’t seem like the case with RAW.