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Phantom promises edgy, yet commercial affair

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In a year where concept based films with controlled budget have done well so far, there are good expectations from ‘Phantom’ as well to leave a mark. If this year, ‘Drishyam’ and ‘Badlapur’ have found a place in audience’s heart solely from content perspective, last year it was ‘Haider’ which went on to find decent collections coming its way on the basis of word of mouth. None of the three films was an escapist fare. In fact each one of them dealt with a serious issue and had a director of repute putting it all together, while being bankrolled by producers (Viacom, Eros, UTV) who are known for their commercial flicks.

Now that Kabir Khan, Sajid Nadiadwala and UTV – three of the most notable names in the industry today – are coming together for ‘Phantom’, a film based on topical issue of terrorism, one looks forward to a quality film in the offering. Of course the presence of Saif Ali Khan and Katrina Kaif give the film a commercial edge. However, there are certain films which aren’t made for a Rs. 100 crore (Rs. 1 Billion) market but instead put together to tell a tale which is engaging enough for a segment of discerning audience who want their films to be slightly different (when compared to a regular Friday release) and yet entertain.

This year, both ‘Drishyam’ and ‘Badlapur’ have taken an opening in the range of Rs. 7 crore (Rs. 70 million) each and something similar is expected from ‘Phantom’ as well. While a decent start is most likely, it is expected to pick mainly over the weekend when the word of mouth spreads. Coming from Kabir Khan, an engaging tale is pretty much on the cards. On the other hand with Sajid on board, a classy mounting is expected, despite the fact that he has kept the costs controlled around the Rs. 40 crore (Rs. 400 million) mark.

There are two more releases this week – ‘Kaun Kitney Paani Mein’ and ‘Banke Ki Crazy Baraat’. While former may still get a decent release, latter may just have a token arrival at select theatres. Promotion has been pretty limited for both films and low awareness would impact the opening day figures as well.

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