Both Anees Bazmee’s Mubarakan and Madhur Bhandarkar’s Indu Sarkar opened to mixed reviews last Friday. While neither really managed to impress the critics, Mubarakan did tide over, given that its clean, family-driven humor tickled the funny bone. But the box-office collections of both films have been contrasting stories.
Indu Sarkar managed only a meager INR 3.5 crore over the weekend, after earning less than a crore on its opening day. The CBFC controversy was expected to help its performance, but reviews and average word-of-mouth didn’t set the box office on fire. Bhandarkar’s latest was based on a woman named Indu with a speech impediment, who is affected by events of the Emergency. Meanwhile, her government-hired husband is involved in the controversial workings and policies of the Indira Gandhi led Congress administration. Kirti Kulhari and Neil Nitin Mukesh (who plays Sanjay Gandhi – though not named) were praised for their performances.
Mubarakan to everyone?
Much of Indu Sarkar’s box-office performance was down to Mubarakan’s fortunes. It started low with a 5-crore on Friday but doubled down on Sunday with more than 10 crore. By the end of Wednesday, it crossed 30 crore in domestic collections – impressive given the slow start. But its high budget (65 crore) means that it will probably not end up as a ‘clean hit’ until it grosses up to INR 100 crore globally. This seems a bit far-fetched now, given that the Shah Rukh Khan–starrer, Jab Harry Met Sejal, hits screens today. Either way, Mubarakan became one of the top 10 weekend earners of the year after its strong Sunday.
The year so far
The Bollywood box office leader of 2017 so far has ironically been a Telugu blockbuster (dubbed in Hindi) – Baahubali: The Conclusion. The movie earned more than an astounding INR 500 crores only from its Hindi-language audiences. No conventional Bollywood Hindi film has ever earned more.
A distant second is Salman Khan–starrer, Tubelight, a film that earned a little over INR 150 crores domestically. This hasn’t been half as much as Salman’s previous hits Bajrangi Bhaijaan and Sultan. Third in the list is the Shah Rukh Khan–starrer Raees, which despite lukewarm reviews, earned up to INR 140 crores by the end of its run. The other 100-crore earners this year were Jolly LLB 2 (a hit), Badrinath ki Dulhaniya and Kaabil. But the surprise super hit of the year has been Hindi Medium, which earned more than INR 60 crore (budget INR 23 crore). This was purely on content, good reviews and strong word-of-mouth (it earned less than 3 crore on its first day).