Sooryavanshi, starring Akshay Kumar and Katrina Kaif got a big opening at the box office. According to trade estimates, Rohit Shetty’s film has raked in nearly Rs 26 crore on Friday, November 5. After a lull of several months due to the second wave of COVID-19, Sooryavanshi seems like a ray of hope for theatres. So far, the Akshay Kumar-Katrina Kaif starrer has received positive reviews from movie critics.Also Read - Bachchan Pandey to Now Release on Holi, Akshay Kumar Gears up to Revive Box Office Again!
The film has been released on more than 3,500 screens in India and 1,300 screens overseas. The movie has clashed with the Hollywood film, Eternals, which has not received many positive reviews by critics. Also Read - 5 Times Actress Esha Gupta Crossed Limits Of Boldness, Watch Her Topless Pictures That Set Internet On Fire
According to a report in Boxofficeindia.com, “The early territory numbers (of Sooryavanshi) are coming in very similar to Golmaal Again but it’s likely that Mumbai will lag due to Maharashtra being at 50% occupancy.” Also Read - Veteran Lyricist Javed Akhtar Turns 77 Today, Best 5 Bollywood Songs Written By Him That Will Always Have Our Hearts
The report further added, “The collections of Eternals are also solid and could finish near the 8 crore nett, making it the best result for Hollywood post the pandemic. Together, both films will be looking at a 33-35 crore nett total for the big Diwali holiday which is similar to what Housefull 4 did in 2019 on this very day.”
Reliance Entertainment Group CEO Shibasish Sarkar in an interaction with PTI said that they are thrilled with the response to the film. “We are tracking reaction across the country and it is extraordinary. After a long time, we see a Housefull board outside single screens and multiplexes. The shows picked up after 12.30 pm-1 pm and there’s a different momentum.
“A day after Diwali is always a big day from film point of view. Cities like Mumbai, Delhi, Gujarat, Pune, UP, Lucknow, Varanasi among others are showing unprecedented response. It’s like the good old days hopefully, as audiences are back to theatres,” Sarkar told PTI.
Theatre owners are also looking forward to a good footfall for the film in the festive week.
“It has been a fantastic response. The morning shows were a little slow but the noon and evening shows are full. It is the right film to get the audience to theatres. It is a sure shot blockbuster, we are expecting Rs 22 crore on day one,” leading film distributor Raj Bansal of Entertainment Paradise, a multiplex chain in Jaipur, told PTI.
“Soorayanshi” will do record business in this new normal world, he added.
According to a fan, who caught the movie in a multiplex here, there were many in the audience who were whistling, dancing and clapping during the key moments of the film, bringing back memories of watching movies in the pre-pandemic era.
“It is a pure entertainer for Diwali for the family audience to come to the theatre to enjoy. One specific scene that talks about the unity of Hindu-Muslim saw many people in the audience cheering up. Rohit has never failed to entertain people through his movies,” Dhairya Vora, an event manager, told PTI, who watched the movie in a multiplex chain.
Several states, including Delhi, Rajasthan, Punjab, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, resumed operations in cinema halls from July-August onwards.
However, theatres in Maharashtra. a key market for the Hindi film industry, reopened on October 22 with a 50 per cent capacity.
But that did not dim the enthusiasm of ardent movie fans.
Mumbai’s most popular single-screen theatre Gaiety saw fans putting a garland over the huge poster of the film.
Manoj Desai, executive director of G7 Multiplex and Maratha Mandir, said he was thrilled at the audience response and the scenes of audiences having a good time brought back the good old days.
“Gaiety, Galaxy and at another single theatre in Bandra all the shows are full, people are very much enjoying the movie. Even at Maratha Mandir, the show is full. We further hope that Maharashtra Government will permit 100 per cent capacity as audiences are coming to theatres with safety precautions and we too are following all the necessary guidelines,” Desai told PTI.
Nitin Datar, president of Cinema Owners and Exhibitors Association of India, shared his excitement and said the movie is performing better in single-screen theatres.
“At many centres, the shows were full due to 50 per cent occupancy, especially at the single screen theatres mainly due to Diwali festival and also the fact that a big movie with a huge star cast is releasing after such a long time. However, the exact number of business amassed will be known later,” Datar told PTI.
One fan was not too enthusiastic about the film but admitted that it was good to be back in the halls.
“The film is average. It couldn’t meet the expectations created by the cop franchise of ‘Singham’ and ‘Simmba’, both were super hits and wonderful to watch. Akshay’s first film with Rohit is average. However, there are people who are liking it,” a cine goer, who did not wish to reveal his name, told PTI.
Looking at the audience reaction, trade pundits believe cinemas will bounce back to normalcy soon.
“The hopes of entire industry were pinned on ‘Sooryavanshi’. It was poised to open big because of the stardom, franchise value, Rohit Shetty and Akshay Kumar brand value and Diwali date, however, content is also important for it to run long.
The film is quite entertaining and hopefully, it should open well,” Himesh Mankad, a trade observer told PTI.
The other major films that are slated for theatrical release include Salman Khan-starrer “Antim”, John Abraham-starrer “Satyameva Jayate 2” and Saif Ali Khan-Rani Mukerji-Sidhant Chaturvedi and Sharvari-starrer “Bunty Aur Babli 2”.