A century in sight for Agneepath

Agneepath registered as the first big hit of the year. Needless to say, the trade is upbeat with the success of Karan Johar’s tribute to his father’s 1990 film helmed by the late Mukul S Anand.

Directed by Karan Malhotra, the Hrithik Roshan-Sanjay Dutt-Rishi Kapoor starrer netted Rs 17 crore on Sunday, taking the total India net to Rs 65 crore.

While some centres saw a lesser turnout on Monday, veteran trade analyst Amod Mehra terms the drop as “natural.” He maintains, “Starting with Rs 23 crore on release on Thursday, Rs 17 crore for Sunday is a big number.

Karan Johar celebrated the opening with a press conference on Friday, Hrithik hosted a party on Saturday and Sanjay Dutt had another bash on Sunday. Agneepath has already returned its investment and whatever it brings in now is a bonus.”

Equally upbeat is Sunil Punjabi, head of Cinemax chain of multiplexes. Pleased with the occupancy in his properties across India, he enthuses, “The second weekend too will see decent occupancy, especially by those who went out of town during the last weekend.”

However, the nearly three-hour running time and lack of light moments seem to matter in some centres on Monday. A distributor based in Central India observed that the traditional family audiences didn’t go raving about the revenge drama.

Declining to be named, he stated, “Too much action and not enough entertainment value caused the collections to drop on Friday and early Saturday.

However, it picked up from Saturday evening and Sunday was very good too. On Monday too, the film continues to hold well in good multiplexes, but not so good in smaller towns. The same goes for single screens; very good in A-centres but not half as good in the B and C-centers.”

Nonetheless, he predicts a distributors’ share of Rs 50 crore, which means the film will make it to the R 100 crore mark. Considering the banner and the stellar cast, Agneepath didn’t face any competition from another Hindi film. But the three Hollywood movies that released on Friday didn’t really catch the audience’s attention.

“Only The Descendants got some notice, due to the Oscar buzz and George Clooney’s performance,” says Mehra.

On the other hand, Mark Walhberg’s Contraband and director Steven Soderbergh’s Haywiredidn’t attract a sizeable audience worth mentioning, says the programming head of a multiplex chain, on condition of anonymity.

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