Till about a month ago, Abhishek Chaubey directed Udta Punjab was looking at a decent start at best. Reaction to the promos was mixed and the songs too were finding diverse reactions. Yes, the starcast [Shahid Kapoor, Alia Bhatt and Kareena Kapoor Khan, along with Diljit Dosanjh] is huge but the film’s set up is not the kind that befits their star appeal. In this unconventional film by Ekta Kapoor, Anurag Kashyap et al, it was the content and the treatment that had to do the talking. From that perspective, this was looking as a word of mouth affair.
Spanner in the plan has been the leaking of its print yesterday but that shouldn’t be any hindrance since the film is set for release tomorrow and those who have to watch it in theaters would do so anyways while the followers or piracy would anyways catch hold of the print by tomorrow evening.
The first target for the film would be to go past the R… Rajkumar score of 10.1 crore, though Shaandaar [13.1 crore] is out of reach. With such good build up and pitching, this is the least that the film needs to do on its opening day before word of mouth sets in.
Meanwhile, there is still some doubt around whether T-Series Junooniyat would release tomorrow. However if that happens, one can’t expect an opening of sorts here since the promotion has been just about decent with some focus on songs. While there was quite some noise around the Pulkit Samrat and Yami Gautam pairing for Sanam Re… which helped it open at 5.04 crore mark, those associated with Junooniyat won’t mind if it happens at even half this mark.
Other releases of the film, Dhanak and Bhouri, have the first challenge in hand to procure a good count of screens and right show timings. For now, situation seems to be quite bleak for both the films.
Joginder Tuteja tweets @tutejajoginder