In 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic hit India and lockdown happened, it was Dinesh Vijan’s Angrezi Medium starring Irrfan Khan, Kareena Kapoor Khan & Radhika Madan which had just hit the cinemas. Despite a decent opening of 4.03 crores, the film wrapped up at a lifetime total of 10.48 crores.
The reason was the complete lockdown. Now exactly after one year, Dinesh’s Roohi hit the cinemas and it has crossed Angrezi Medium in just the first extended weekend. The film took a slower start compared to Irrfan Khan starrer but performed well over the weekend to eventually take a lead.
The Janhvi Kapoor, Rajkummar Rao & Varun Sharma starrer has done a business of 12.58 crores in the extended weekend. The horror-comedy seems to have received good word of mouth so far and has become the first Bollywood film to cross the 10 crores mark amid pandemic. The maximum a Hindi film had done in the last 1 year was Sooraj Pe Mangal Bhari. The Manoj Bajpayee, Diljit Dosanjh & Fatima Sana Shaikh starrer collected 4 crores at the box office. In fact, big Hollywood films like Tenet & Wonder Woman 1984 also hardly touched the 10 crores mark amid pandemic in India. The trends so far for Roohi suggest that it will soon cross the 20 crores mark as well and will target 25 crores lifetime or more.
Now that’s an accomplishment of its kind considering the troubled times in which Roohi has released. The next Bollywood films up for release this month are Mumbai Saga, Sandeep Aur Pinky Faraar and Saina. The horror-comedy has already set the stage for these films and they just have to take the business ahead now.
Meanwhile, Dinesh Vijan recently said that he agrees with the advent of digital and satellite rights, the risk factor for a producer incurring losses has reduced.
“Digital is a significant contributor but the difference for me is that the audience chooses to go to a theatre and watch a film, so it is a more challenging or daunting task to do — because you need to engage your viewer to come and watch and like film,” Vijan said.
He firmly believes that a “true perception” of a film comes with its theatrical release.
“It’s a very reactive medium but, yes, with the advent of new avenues, digital and satellite takeaway comprise a considerable amount of your risk even if you go theatrical. But if it runs in theatres there are so many years of legacy that stays,” he said.