NEW DELHI: The John Abraham and Arjun Kapoor starrer ‘Ek Villain Returns’ hit the screens this Friday. The movie is a spiritual successor of superhit ‘Ek Villain’ which had released in 2014. The brand value of the first film, one hit song, and a mass-pleasing trailer has ensured a moderate initial. Though the opening is no great shakes, it is better than most of the Bollywood films which have been released this year.
The initial is especially encouraging in mass pockets such as Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, and CI. But the business in the premium multiplexes of big cities will be substandard at best. Looking at the opening, the first-day collections will be in the region of Rs 6-7 crore net.
The reports of the suspense-drama is comme si comme sa, but commercially it seems like a safe bet. It will not rake in huge gains but will at least break even. Taking into account the fact that no film is released for the next two weeks, it might even generate a modicum of profit. Theatrically, ‘Ek Villain Returns’ needs to rack up Rs 45 crore net in India to break even for its investors.
Last week’s ‘Shamshera’ had snapped up Rs 30 crore net in its first weekend – which was underwhelming’ – but the collections crashed unceremoniously from Monday across the board. In its first week, it managed to muster only Rs 39 crore net in India. The lifetime business will be around Rs 43 crore and it has proved to be a colossal disaster. Even after accounting for digital, satellite, and music rights, the producer – Aditya Chopra – will cop the loss of approx. Rs 23-25 crore.
Talking exclusively with The New Indian, the prominent exhibitor – Vishek Chauhan – says ‘Ek Villain Returns’ has taken a better opening in his theatre than last week’s ‘Shamshera’ which featured stars like Ranbir Kapoor and Sanjay Dutt.
“The opening is nothing to shout about but it is certainly decent. It is one of the best openings by a Bollywood movie in Bihar and surely better than last week’s ‘Shamshera’. The initial is driven by youth and the masses and the trailer of ‘Ek Villain Returns’ attracted their attention. Though I feel that a film of this genre should have taken a better opening, especially in mass circuits. But considering the dismal state of Bollywood at present, the numbers are good,” he said.
He continued: “The biggest reason behind Bollywood films tanking at the turnstiles on the first day itself is that they have lost the connection with the youth. Youngsters are more interested in watching Hollywood films that offer them the bang for their buck, while Bollywood movies have fallen off their radar. Also, very few films are being made for the masses. I hope our Hindi film industry realizes the importance of a thunderous opening. If a film embarks on a poor start, its lifetime will be on the lower side even if it sustains well. Would ‘Dangal’ have clocked up Rs 385 crore net in India if its first-day collections were under Rs 10 crore?”
“I think ‘Ek Villain Returns’ will snap the losing streak for Bollywood but it won’t be a roaring hit. No one will lose money but profit – if any – will be minuscule,” Chauhan stated.
Satadeep Saha, an exhibitor from Kolkata, echoed similar sentiments. “I don’t think the initial of ‘Ek Villain Returns’ can be called fantastic but it has leapfrogged last week’s ‘Shamshera’. The reactions of the audience are mixed hence a robust lifetime business can be ruled out,” Saha said.
“The film is carrying a reasonable price tag due to which it will not suffer losses unlike other Bollywood films this year, which were non-starters,” he concluded.