The trade may have awaited the long Independence Day weekend with a lot of anticipation and excitement but the public failed to live up to the industry’s expectations. Prakash Jha’s Aarakshan failed to make the cash registers ring very loud – and not just because it was banned by three state governments.
Aarakshan could not capitalize on the controversy surrounding it. As a result, it did not open to bumper houses even in those states where it was allowed to be released without tension. The controversial film did not live up to the public’s expectations because although it had a strong title, it tackled the issue of aarakshan (caste-based reservation policy of the government of India in educational institutions) only in half the film – probably even less! Almost the entire second half dealt with commercialisation of education, which, in a way, is also a stand-alone problem. What’s worse, the makers did not even try to conclusively establish the connection between the commercialisation and the quota policy of the government. Had they done that, the audience may not have felt as let down as it has now been feeling. The Deepika Padukone, Saif Ali Khan and Amitabh Bachchan starrer managed a weekend net of approximately Rs. 18 crore in three days and around Rs. 25 crore in four days. The first week closed at Rs. 31-32 crore. No doubt, the total was affected because of the ban too, but notwithstanding the obstinate stand of three state governments, the film should have netted Rs. 38-40 crore at least. It lost business worth approximately Rs. 75-80 lakh because of the misdirected ban.
It was Singham in the fourth week too. The Ajay Devgan starrer managed good collections in the week gone by. Its net for all-India has crossed Rs. 95-96 crore. The film will touch the Rs.100-crore mark this week.
Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara yielded good shares in the big cities in its 5th week too.