Earlier, the niche and multiplex films followed a clear trend, especially if these films had positive reports. The opening would be low. But once word of mouth would spread, the collections would see a jump from Saturday, or even from Friday evening or night. This trend was missing for these unconventional films post the second wave. It was a cause of worry as several such films are made and released throughout the year. Hence, if these films are not getting support from the audience, then it leads to fears that many such films would be released directly online.
‘Badhaai Do’, however, has proved to be an exception. It deals with a taboo subject, of a marriage between a gay and a lesbian. The buzz was limited and even the subject was niche. Hence, as expected, the opening was just Rs. 1.50 crore. However, it showed a big jump on Saturday, as it earned Rs. 2.50 crore. The jump on day 3 was also healthy, Rs. 3.35 crore. After looking at the day 1 collections, many feared that it would be able to cross the Rs. 10 crore mark. The day 2 and 3 collections have now given hope that it can do double of what was originally predicted, that is, around Rs. 20 crore. This was more so after it held strong on Valentine’s Day and collected Rs. 1.85 crore.
It’s not like suddenly, the audiences decided to give these films a chance. The multiplex films which released post the second wave were probably not upto the mark. ‘Chandigarh Kare Aashiqui’ (2021), for instance, was a fine effort but the second half was weak and the dialogues were poor. Even pre-pandemic, this film would have struggled to find an audience. ‘Badhaai Do’, meanwhile, has been liked a bit more as the writing is simple to understand and comprehend. And the last 30 minutes take the film to another level.
‘Badhaai Do’ trending well also ends the debate that audiences would now come to watch only the biggies in cinemas while smaller films would be seen only on digital. With the third wave waning, many states have eased up restrictions and have gone back to pre-pandemic measures, except for the mask mandates. Even the box office seems to be heading the same way. If there’s no fourth wave and cases further reduce, 100% occupancy will be allowed everywhere by March or at least, April. And then there would be no stopping the collections. It’s just a matter of time.