‘Kisi Ka Bhai Kisi Ki Jaan’, which was released two weeks back, dropped rapidly in the second week. It crossed the Rs. 100 Crore mark today, that is, on its thirteenth day of release and this is not a good sign at all. Meanwhile, the month of May doesn’t have a significant Hindi release. Only small and mid-sized films will try their luck and it remains to be seen if any of them manage to surprise.
The big release today is ‘Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 3’. It is a part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. At one point, this franchise was huge but off late, the brand has taken a beating as their recent films didn’t impress audiences much. ‘Guardians Of The Galaxy’s characters, meanwhile, are not as popular as Spider-Man or Thor. Hence, due to these two factors, it’s next to impossible for the third part to get an opening in double digits.
Marvel’s ‘Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’ (2022) collected Rs. 11.75 Crore on its first day while ‘Ant-Man And The Wasp: Quantumania’ (2023), the last Marvel film to release, opened at Rs. 8.50 Crore. As per the advance trends, ‘Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 3’ should open between Rs. 7 and 8.50 Crore. Thankfully, the reports are very positive and this can help the film put up a healthy lifetime. ‘Ant-Man And The Wasp: Quantumania’ had not even managed to cross the Rs. 50 Crore mark. The aim for ‘Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 3’ should be to do a half-century at least at the box office.
Speaking of Hindi releases, the biggest this week is ‘The Kerala Story’. Starring Adah Sharma, it is produced by Vipul Shah. The film is dubbed as ‘The Kashmir Files’ (2022). It tells the story of a group of women who are fooled, made to convert to Islam and then join ISIS.
As expected, with a subject like this, a section of society are themselves promoting the film. It has also resulted in decent advances. ‘The Kashmir Files’ saw record block bookings in its first two weeks. It is expected that ‘The Kerala Story’ will also get similar kinds of mass bookings, which will lead to a healthy lifetime. ‘The Kashmir Files’ went on another level as it opened at Rs. 3.36 Crore and then collected a mind-boggling Rs. 246.91 Crore in its lifetime.
The Kerala Story is expected to open at around Rs. 2-3 Crore and it also could be higher, if the block bookings start from tomorrow. It seems unlikely if it can collect more than Rs. 200 Crore like ‘The Kashmir Files’. Nevertheless, if word of mouth is positive, it can do well. Since the costs are limited, even if it has a lifetime of Rs. 30 or 40 Crore, it’ll prove to be a profitable venture.
‘The Kerala Story’, however, faces some challenges. In the case of ‘The Kashmir Files’, the makers had solid proof to claim that what they have shown in the film is authentic. With ‘The Kerala Story’, the makers made a blunder as they claimed that nearly 32,000 women from Kerala have gone missing and joined extremist forces. It led to a lot of brouhaha with many even offering cash rewards to anyone who can prove this claim. The makers then had to tweak the trailer and remove the claim of 32,000 women. This led to the perception that the makers haven’t done their research well and are deliberately maligning a state that is perceived to be progressive.
Nevertheless, ‘The Kerala Story’ can still attract audiences but the craze won’t be the same as ‘The Kashmir Files’.
Lastly, ‘Afwaah’ also releases tomorrow. Directed by Sudhir Mishra, it stars Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Bhumi Pednekar and tells an important tale. However, the awareness is negligible. Many are not even aware that there’s a film by this name. It is produced by Anubhav Sinha whose last film ‘Bheed’ (2023) opened poorly at Rs. 45 Lakhs. This one might open on the same lines and maybe, it can have a lower opening as well.