Of course, this is all super early reports and blah blah blah, the real answer will come on Monday, but so far Udta is looking good!
Amitabh and TE3N
I wonder if this is a sign that it is time for Amitabh to look for a 4th avatar? I think we can safely say that Amitabh has entered the 3rd phase of his career, yes? Phase one beginning with Zanjeer and running through until Khuda Gawah, Amitabh as the hero and star of the film, the one who the narrative revolves around. And then Phase two beginning with Mohabetein and running through let’s say Cheeni Kum? In that, Amitabh was the wise dignified older guy, he was playing his age, not some young action star rebel, but he was still a “Hero”, stronger and smarter and more powerful than anyone would be in real life. But beginning with Paa, he’s gone more for roles where he can disappear into them, make himself smaller, not larger, than life. And the box office has gotten progressively smaller as well.
But what’s really interesting is, the box office gets really tiny when he tries to return to an earlier phase of his career. Just like Lal Baadshah failed in 1999 when he tried to still be “young Amitabh”. And so, Department, that movie in which he played the powerful cut throat businessman, was the previous worst box office figures of all flop for Amitabh in recent years. And now TE3N is doing even worse. TE3N, in which he plays the exact same kind of role that was a hit in Piku, just last year. The older overlooked character role. Maybe it’s time for him to start playing straight up comic side-characters? Go back to TV? Start doing only cameos (he was unarguably the best part of Ki&Ka)? I don’t know, but it is looking like the writing is on the wall and a change is in order.
The Housefull series, on the other hand, can apparently run for the next two decades without a falter. This last one, Housefull 3, was the biggest hit of them all. And I feel comfortable giving all the credit to Abhishek (the man is a comic GENIUS!). And none of the credit to Nargis Fakhri (The woman CAN. NOT. ACT!).
Anyway, in just 2 weeks Housefull 3 has already made 103 crore, and counting. Housefull 2 ended its run with 116 crore, 3 looks like it will beat that easily. It’s also on track to beat Airlift at 128 crore as the highest grossing film of 2016. Well, for like a week. Let’s be real, Sultan is coming out in 2 weeks, that’s how long Housefull 3 has to make all its money and break all its records. NO ONE beats an Eid Salman release.
Udta Punjab Early Reports
The UAE is the only overseas market with reports yet (this probably has something to do with the international date line and time zones and other things that confuse me when I think about them too much). Collected AED 325, which is a bit low, but of course theaters are only open at night now, and it has an “A” certificate. Business should pick up a little once Ramadan is over. Although, of course, then Salman will come to dominate us all, so it’s moot.
In India, things are looking okay! There was concern that the online leak of the film (possibly by someone from the censor board?) would hurt its box office. Actually, there was an assumption that the leak was down in an attempt to hurt its box office because the censors are petty petty small-minded people.
45% occupancy for early shows, which is well above average (standard for a big name non-Khan release is 30%). And it’s almost 100% occupancy in the northern territories. You know, where the people live who were supposed to be all “my sentiments are hurt!” according to the censor board. Turns out, they actually like watching something that shows the reality of their situation! Plus, you know, Diljit Dosanjh, doesn’t hurt to have a local hero in it.