With another Friday fast approaching, it's time to keep an eye out for the upcoming film releases, and if the box-office, particularly that of Bollywood, is something that often catches your interest, then you're bound to like our weekly BL predicts section. This time around, we have three Hindi films hitting screens — Disha Patani-Aditya Roy Kapur-Anil Kapoor-Kunal Kemmu starrer Malang, directed by Mohit Suri of Aashiqui 2, Ek Villain and Murder 2 fame, Vidhu Vinod Chopra's directorial comeback, Shikara, and TV star Hina Khan's Bollywood debut, Hacked, helmed by Vikram Bhatt. So what are the biggest drawing factors and drawbacks of these film, and how are they expected to affect their box-office numbers? Let's take a look:
We spoke to eminent trade analyst Vishek Chauhan who's of the opinion that Malang is carrying decent buzz on account of the great response to the trailer, with the film looking to be along the likes of Ek Villain – an edgy thriller with romance and slick packaging. However, he's quick to add that though it looks like a massy film, Aditya Roy Kapoor doesn't fit the bill of a massy hero, and Disha Patani, for all her fame on social media, is an untested box-office force. Plus, with the film trying to appeal to both the high-end multiplex audience and masses, the opening is likely to be loaded in favour of the bigger cities, especially given the urban feel.
According to Vishek Chauhan, the biggest draw of the film is Mohit Suri, who's one of the few Bollywood Directors operating today, whom can claim to have a strong connect with the audience, after delivering huge hits like Aashiqui 2, Ek Villain and Murder 2. Plus the ensemble cast, genre-bending treatment and high glamour quotient should all come together to bring in an opening of Rs. 6-7 crore nett, which could even touch 8 crore if the film picks up toward the evening and night shows. However, he's certain that the opening would have been in double digits had the music been better. If the film maintains its pace, then it could look at Rs. 25 crore nett opening weekend, but if the word-of-mouth is really good, then you never how bigger the number could be.
Coming to Shikara, Vishek opines that since the film is relevant to the times and mood of the country, it could stand its ground before Malang. He feels the film will particularly appeal to the mature audience, though not many among the youth would hold an interest in it. Delhi NCR in particular, is likely to outperform all the other territories owing to its hige contingent of Kashmiri-Pandit population. Add to that the fact the Director Vidhu Vonod Chopra is a household name, and Vishek believes that Shikara could open between Rs. 3-4 crore nett albeit with growth over the evening and night shows as the morning and noon occupancy is bound to be low for such a subject. At this rate, the film could see a Rs. 10-12 crore nett opening weekend. Once again, if the WOM is fantastic, then that number could go for a toss.
Coming to the final release of the week, Hacked, Vishek is of the firm opinion that it's going to get sandwiched between Malang and Shikara, and destined to fizzle out at the box-office. Hina Khan's huge social-media standing notwithstanding, he prudently points out how that rarely translates into collections, particularly when a TV star is venturing into the big world of films for the first time.
So, which of these three is going to be your first choice film this weekend? Tweet and let us know @bollywood_life
(With inputs from reputed trade analyst Vishek Chauhan)
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