Bahubali continues to rule the box office as it pushes aside others in third week

The fact that films and cricket remain its dominant entertainers on television was evident when the Zee TV premiere of Dangal on 21 May and the final of the IPL T20 on Sony Max took the toll at the box office.

Last Friday saw the release of two totally different genre films - Hindi Medium and Half Girlfriend.

Hindi Medium is an entertaining family fare that also tackles a social issue relating to the education system in India; showing how every educational institution brands itself as ‘international’ and,while even the poor want their children to get English education, it is gradually going out of their reach. This is a small budget film with not much wasted on artistes while the limited locations help curtail the budget.

Half Girlfriend, on the other hand, is youth oriented romance. It used all the traditional stuff that a love story has been using through the history of storytelling: taming of the shrew, rich vs poor, chamcha friends around and, as a side attraction, it also touches on the Swachh Bharat issue stressing on the need for toilets in mofussil area schools so girl students do not shy away from enrol!ing. Sadly, all these elements were badly and predictably strewn together handled with inept direction.

Of the films released last week, Ram Gopal Varma’s idea of The Godfather, Sarkar 3, backfired yet again. Why is RPG trying to sell the same idea again if it was not accepted the first time? In filmmaking, you can’t be third time lucky with the same stuff!

Of the already running films, only Bahubali (Dubbed-Hindi) is sustaining. It is no secret that no dubbed film has ever done this kind of business while, it is also no secret that no Hindi films has reached such box office height either, be is a Salman Khan or an Aamir Khan starrer despite their being known to break barriers.

Box Office status wise:

*Half Girlfriend opened reasonably well but the word of mouth was mostly against its content. The film collected 29.1 crore over the weekend and may fall short of its target. The price at which its Indian theatrical rights have been sold, the film will need to reach a target of little short of 100 crore.

*Hindi Medium opened to an indifferent response on Friday, a good word of mouth helped the film as it gained on Saturday and Sunday to end its opening weekend with Rs 109 million. It should sail safe.

*Sarkar 3 has been very poor managing to collect barely Rs 82 million in its first week and is a loser.

*Meri Pyaari Bindu, with lesser number of screens compared to Sarkar 3, has been a slow starter but, being a mini budget enterprise, should not offset the producers’ balance sheet. The film collected Rs 86 million.

*Bahubali 2: The Conclusion (Hindi-Dubbed) maintains strong trends as the film collects a whopping Rs 676 million in its third week taking its three week total to Rs 4.495 billion - the highest box office collections ever for a film in the Hindi belt.

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