BENGALURU: After copping a series of catastrophic clunkers in the last two months, Bollywood finally has something to cheer about as Kartik Aaryan’s ‘Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2’ fetched an encouraging opening at the turnstiles.
The sequel of the 2007 release ‘Bhool Bhulaiyaa’, the horror-comedy has scuppered the box-office drought and the collections of Day 1 are expected to be in double digits.
The brand value of the original ‘Bhool Bhulaiyaa’, a hit song, an entertaining trailer, the genre (horror-comedy) and the presence of Kartik have all contributed to the fine opening. The reports of the film are generally on the positive side and it remains to be seen how it fares over the weekend.
After Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s ‘Gangubai Kathiawadi’ in February, all the Hindi films toplined by A-list stars such as Akshay Kumar (‘Bachchhan Paandey’), Shahid Kapoor (‘Jersey’), Tiger Shroff (‘Heropanti 2’), Ajay Devgn (‘Runway 34’) and Ranveer Singh (‘Jayeshbhai Jordaar’) bombed miserably. What shocked the industry and the trade was the fact that all of them took dismal single-digit openings.
A single-digit opening for List A actors would have been called terrible even 10 years ago. In 2022, they looked cataclysmic. No wonder, a section of the media went into overdrive writing obituaries of Bollywood.
The overall fate of ‘Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2’ is yet to be determined, but the good initial has at least given a sliver of hope to the parched industry.
Talking exclusively to The New Indian, the Chief Programming Officer of INOX, Rajender Singh Jyala, said ‘Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2’ has bagged the best opening by a Bollywood movie since last year’s ‘Sooryavanshi’. “From the last two months, everyone has been asking me whether Bollywood is dead. I was telling them it is just a phase and one entertaining movie with a universal appeal will dispel all such notions. Now ‘Bhool Bhulaiya 2’ has taken a very good start across India. It is the best start by a Bollywood movie since ‘Sooryavanshi’ which was released last year,” he informed
“INOX will sell approx. 1.25 lakh tickets for ‘Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2’ on Day 1. People are liking the film and calling it a wholesome entertainer. Hence, I am expecting that movie will jump by 30% on Saturday as families will come out to watch it. On Sunday, it might again show a 20% spurt. I think it will rack up around Rs 14-15 crore nett on Day 1 and will consolidate its position over the weekend,” he stated.
Akshaye Rathi, a noted exhibitor from Nagpur, feels the audience always laps up well made, entertaining films.
“It’s true that movies with prominent actors have failed in the last two months. But that was due to the content. The failures of these movies haven’t dented the stature of actors as they all have delivered huge hits in the past. Ajay Devgn dished out the biggest blockbuster of his career ‘Tanhaji’ before ‘Runway 34’. Shahid had reeled off his biggest hit ‘Kabir Singh’ before ‘Jersey’ came a cropper. Stars can only enhance the potential of a film but the content has to click,” he opined.
“Kartik Aaryan has always been a saleable star. He has a fan following of his own. ‘Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2’ is a rollicking entertainer and is being liked by hoi polloi. I’m ecstatic that this movie has taken a flying start,” he added.
Veteran exhibitor, Raj Bansal, however, warned the trade to not get hyper-excited. “The beginning of ‘Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2’ is certainly encouraging but I would like to tell my fraternity to not get ahead of themselves. In the last two days, some of us have gone overboard predicting a Rs 18 crore nett opening for the film which is not healthy. Now even if collections will be good, some will be left disappointed as they set unrealistic expectations,” he observed.
“The film is certainly a winner for everyone associated with the project. But it won’t be a huge blockbuster,” he concluded.
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