It was predicted in this column last week that Abhishek Kapoor’s Kai Po Che! would take an opening in the range of 40%-50% and at select multiplexes boast of occupancy which could be much higher. Well, this is exactly how box office behaved as well with the opening day around the 50% mark at an average and much better occupancy at premium properties. While majority of ‘moolah’ (expectedly) came from A centres and their multiplexes, the response at single screens wasn’t anywhere close. This wasn’t an area of concern for the makers though since the film opened well with the target audience.
The film saw some very good critical acclaim coming its way, which was again on the expected lines. Of course to term it as a classic was akin to taking things a little too far but as a standalone product, Kai Po Che! carries enough merits to find good audience for itself. This is what happened as after enjoying a good opening day, it went on to notch around 18 crores at the box office, hence turning out to be a safe outing. For UTV in particular, the month of February has turned out to be great since just before Kai Po Che!, another film with minimal known credentials, ABCD – Any Body Can Dance, has turned out to be a clean hit already.
Will Kai Po Che! too find a hit tag for itself? Well, for that one would have to wait to see how the second weekend also performs. There is competition in the form of two more multiplex friendly films (The Attacks of 26/11, I Me Aur Main). Moreover, at its core, Kai Po Che! is niche after all which means the target audience base has to be nurtured further over a period of time. Still, leaving the moolah factor arrives, the fact that films featuring predominantly new faces (after Vicky Donor, Ishaqzaade, ABCD) working commercially as well is a good sign indeed for Bollywood.
What hasn’t exactly been a good sign though is the fact that Zila Ghaziabad didn’t quite find many things favourable going it’s way. After a delay, there was lack of marketing and promotional effort that pulled it down as it approached closer to release. It was expected though that at single screens in the North belt the film would find an audience. That was the case as well and this Anand Kumar directed film did end up collecting around 10 crores by the time the first weekend came to a close.
Though this is still a decent number considering the fact that it has been quite some time since a Vivek Oberoi starrer has managed such collections, one also has to acknowledge Sanjay Dutt’s presence in the enterprise. Moreover with Arshad Warsi throwing his weight around, at least the film succeeded in not turning out to be a washout. It has to be seen though if the film manages to hang on at the single screens at least and breakeven at least as this multistarrer is a costly affair. Since the start isn’t good, Zila Ghaziabad would have to cover a much greater distance for survival.
Joginder Tuteja tweets @tutejajoginder