With its dazzling star cast (Akshay Kumar, Katrina Kaif, Ajay Devgn and Ranveer Singh), action-packed storyline, and producer-director Rohit Shetty’s Midas touch, “Sooryavanshi” has lit up the box-office, netting Rs 50 crore on its opening two days.
Though the film encountered a minor drop in collections on Saturday, by Sunday, it was expected to bounce back and send off the Diwali weekend with Rs 70-80 crore in its kitty. The story is similar to that of Shetty’s 2017 film “Golmaal Again”.
Talking about the impressive numbers, senior trade analyst and film critic Taran Adarsh said: “This is the revival we had all been praying for! The industry was in the ICU and ‘Sooryavanshi’ is like the oxygen it badly needed. It’s a great feeling to see that the cinemas are back, moviegoers are back, and the film industry is back.”
Adarsh said the film had also demolished the myth that OTT platforms had rung the death knell of cinema viewing in theatres. He said: “Since the lockdown happened, a lot of people have been watching films on OTT platforms. As a result, experts said now that people have got a choice, it’s over for cinema, they said. These people had started referring to cinema theatres in the past tense. All that has been proven wrong, and how! And one man, Rohit Shetty, is behind this massive revival.”
He added: “I have been talking to producers, distributors and exhibitors. They are all so rejuvenated now. They had announced new films, but they were wondering if people would come. ‘Sooryavanshi’ took the risk and its success has drawn the others back.”
Fellow analyst Komal Nahta concurred: “It is very good for the film industry and the film trade that in just two days the film has crossed the Rs 50-crore mark. It just proves a couple of things. First. people are ready now to come out of their homes to the cinemas if the content is good. Second, all that talk about people getting used to OTT in the comfort of their homes was unfounded. People were doing that because there was no alternative.”
OTT can never replace cinemas, Nahta said with confidence. “With ‘Sooryavanshi’ bringing in such figures, I think the flow of releases will continue for the next six-eight months,” he added.
Media and Internet research analyst Karan Taurani echoed the positive sentiments when he predicted that “Sooryavanshi” would reach the Rs 75-80-crore mark by the end of the weekend. “We had expected around Rs 60-70 crore, so that’s pretty much in line with our expectations. Because of the four-week window before the film’s OTT release, there will be certain limitations on the theatrical earnings, but they won’t be that big to be able to make a real difference.”
Taurani said the film will record a “lifetime earning” of Rs 140-150 crore, “which is 30 per cent below pre-Covid levels”. The box-office, though, will only do better once the limitation of 50 per cent occupancy is lifted across states. “It is very important for the relaxation to happen,” Taurani said, adding the momentum is likely to be maintained over the next two-three weeks because more content-rich medium- and big-budget films are coming.