It was predicted in this column a few days back that Jab Harry Met Sejal would take an opening around Rs. 16-17 crore. Well, the collections were around this range as Rs. 15.25 crore came in on Friday. These are in fact good numbers considering the fact that a) the film never seemed like the kind that had a universal appeal and would appeal to mass segments in the B & C centres and b) the industry is going through a phase where back to back disappointments are plaguing one and all.
Hence, to even have a number which is greater than Rs. 15 crore is still fair enough as it shows that there is still a segment of audiences in there that cares to step into theatres. Of course, the name Shah Rukh Khan stands for a lot more than someone whose film takes a Rs. 15-20 crore opening. However, when you make a choice to do a film like Jab Harry Met Sejal which has its own limitations on the paper itself, the results are expected to be in that zone as well.
Now let’s talk about what the future entails for the Imtiaz Ali directed film. The sad part is that from the critical acclaim perspective, the film has met with a huge thumbs down from majority. It is as simple as that – the film is being seen as one of the weakest love stories of Shah Rukh Khan. Even that would have been okay had the audience word of mouth been positive. However, there too lie many problems since by and large there are more voices of dissent than support.
When the feedback from the ‘aam junta’ turns out to be such, it becomes even more difficult for a film to hold on. This is where the challenge lies for Jab Harry Met Sejal as it would have to battle all these roadblocks and at least sustain well (if not grow much) over the weekend in order to have a shot at a reasonable lifetime total.