Akshay Kumar's versatility saves holiday week from dullness

The flow of new films seems to have tapered down. In the weeks when new films are not meant to be released like during IPL or exams etc, a bunch of small, inconsequential films swarm the cinemas. Even if one or two of them had a merit, they stood no chance because of high admission rates, odd show timings that they were meted out, and the lack of face value of such films.

Now, when the playtime is open and available, the exhibitors were able to get one Bareilly Ki Barfi besides the other release, Partition: 1947 (Hindi-Dubbed), which failed to get the footfalls and faced a no audience, no show situation.

The starving cinema halls had some relief with Akshay Kumar’s Toilet: Ek Prem Katha with an extended Independence Day weekend coinciding. The film raced to the Rs 900 million-figure during these holidays. The film has to meet the target of Rs 1.25 billion and, looking at the weak opposition in the new release, Bareilly Ki Barfi, the Akshay-starrer should sail safe eventually.

*Bareilly Ki Barfi had some renowned names riding with it. The film boasts of Nitesh Tiwari who wrote and directed the recent blockbuster Dangal, as the writer while Ashwini Iyer Tiwary, who made Nil Battey Sannata, as the director. Both the writer and the director failed to live up to their earlier glory as Bareilly Ki Barfi has none of that spontaneity or laughter expected of their work.

The film opened with a low Ra 20 million. The Saturday improvement was fair but still on the lower side while Sunday was much better with double the Friday figures. The film ended its opening weekend with a total of Rs 108 million.

*The other major release, UK-based Gurinder Chadha’s Partition: 1947 (Hindi-Dubbed), an attempt to tell the behind-the-scenes story of the Partition, had little relevance for today’s Indian viewers. A futile attempt, it finds no takers as the film fared poorly at the box office.

*Toilet Ek Prem Katha thrived on the holiday week. The week had a holiday on Monday in many parts being Janmashtami, a national holiday on Tuesday being the Independence Day and the Parsi New Year holiday on Thursday in Maharashtra and Gujarat.

The film had opened with fairly decent collections and picked up steam on Saturday and Sunday with the holidays adding handsomely to take the collections on the verge of Rs one billion, the mark it will easily cross during its second weekend. 

With an opening weekend of Rs 511 million, the film added another Rs 415 million to take its first week tally to Rs 936 crore million.

*Jab Harry Met Sejal added Rs 41.5 million in its second week to take its two-week total to Rs 616.5 million.

*Mubarakan is struggling to sustain, despite being a fairly entertaining film, and keeps holding out hope in its subsequent weeks which will help cut down its losses. The film collected a decent Rs 54 million taking its four week total to Rs 553 million.

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