Going into it’s second weekend, Neerja is poised to do even better than it did during it’s first. And not just because of good word of mouth.
As I mentioned in my last box office post, Neerja opened on only 700 screens, and it’s strong box office last weekend is a tribute to its high per screen average. The low number of screens at the opening shows the lack of faith in a film without a male star. It has basically the same lack of songs, realistic based on a true story drama, and patriotic message as Airlift. The only difference is that Neerja didn’t have Akshay Kumar, it just had Sonam Kapoor.
But, I am thrilled to say, that Sonam Kapoor is proving her mettle as a star opener, and Neerja is proving that a high quality film can do well even without a big name. This weekend, the second weekend, it is spreading to 900 theaters, and 4000 shows.
Even better for the box office, 4 regions have now declared it tax free. Gujurat, Maharasthra, Dehli, and the UP. Which means tickets will be cheaper, more people will opt to see it over other taxed films, and the profits for the distributors and theater owners will be much higher. And this is exactly the kind of movie that deserves that boost! It has a great message, it’s very well-made, and people might need just that extra push of saving a few rupees to make the choice to see it over something else. More importantly than that, if distributors and theater owners make a big profit here, it might encourage them to give more a chance to other films like this, without the big star names, but with the big quality.
Of course, there one piece of bad news. The India versus Pakistan Asia Cup cricket match is today. So, that’s going to take a HUGE chunk out of the box office. Heck, my local theater is giving up a screen to showing it live! But, maybe if India wins people will want to watch something triumphal and patriotic to celebrate? And if India loses, maybe they will want to watch something with a sad but hopeful ending?