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Bollywood Talk – Will Shehzada and Ant-Man succeed at the box office?

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After three weeks of no major release, this Friday will be an exception. A major Bollywood as well a Hollywood film will be arriving in cinemas. The expectations are immense from both but they also face certain challenges.

‘Shehzada’ stars Kartik Aaryan and Kriti Sanon along with Paresh Rawal, Ronit Roy and Sachin Khedekar. It is the remake of the Telugu blockbuster ‘Ala Vaikunthapurramuloo’ (2020), starring Allu Arjun. Allu’s father Allu Aravind produced the original film and he has also co-produced the remake. Rohit Dhawan, brother of Varun Dhawan and son of David Dhawan and who made ‘Desi Boyz’ (2011) and ‘Dishoom’ (2016) in the past, has directed ‘Shehzada’.

‘Shehzada’ looks like a complete entertainer and a film ideal for the family, going by its trailer. Kartik Aaryan’s last theatrical release ‘Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2’ (2022) was a blockbuster and hence, the expectations are immense from ‘Shehzada’. As for the songs, “Munda Sona Hoon Main” has worked but hasn’t become a chartbuster.

The buzz for ‘Shehzada’, however, is limited. The makers have done their best to ensure the film makes a noise. But the advance sales haven’t been encouraging. ‘Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2’ opened at Rs. 13.50 Crore. But ‘Shehzada’ is expected to open in the range of Rs. 6.75-7.50 Crore. And this is not good news since ‘Shehzada’ was expected to take a bigger opening than the horror comedy.

But ‘Shehzada’ still has a chance if word of mouth is positive. The Saturday jump in collections has started happening again and once that happens, the film will hold in the weekdays. A solid trend and minimal drop in weekdays are what the makers should hope for. However, if reports are negative, ‘Shehzada’ will face a tough time.

Meanwhile, ‘Ant-Man And The Wasp: Quantumania’ belongs to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which has a dedicated fan following. However, Ant-Man is not as popular a superhero as Iron Man, Thor, etc., and hence the excitement is limited. Moreover, the opening day numbers of Marvel films have been consistently falling with each film. ‘Spider-Man: No Way Home’ (2021) opened at a huge Rs. 32.67 Crore as viewers were excited to see three Spider-Man characters. The film worked big time and the next Marvel product, ‘Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness’ (2022), got the advantage of it. Its day 1 collections were a mind-boggling Rs. 28.74 Crore. ‘Thor: Love And Thunder’ (2022), meanwhile, opened at Rs. 18.48 Crore followed by ‘Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’ (2022) at Rs. 11.75 Crore.

Going by this trend, ‘Ant-Man And The Wasp: Quantumania’s opening will be lesser than that of ‘Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’ (2022). A double-digit opening seems difficult and it should open around Rs. 7-8 Crore. The target should be an opening weekend of Rs. 30 Crore and lifetime collections of Rs. 60 Crore. This is provided the audience enjoys the film.

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