HOLIDAY – A SOLDIER IS NEVER OFF DUTY has everything going in its favour: The much-awaited biggie is directed by A.R. Murugadoss, whose debut film in Hindi, GHAJINI, was the *first Hindi film* to waltz past the Rs 100 cr mark [domestic BO] … An Akshay starrer was hitting the marquee after almost eight months [after BOSS]. The gap between his last release and this one was just perfect … It’s the first biggie to woo the spectators, after the IPL … It’s release was timed during the summer vacations, when the biz is at its optimum … The film is a remake of Tamil film THUPPAKKI, which emerged a Blockbuster at the BO … Also, unlike Akshay’s previous movies, the genre was totally different this time … With so many factors going in its favour, HOLIDAY – A SOLDIER IS NEVER OFF DUTY had to score and score big numbers.
It’s a known fact that Akshay has witnessed ups and downs in his career lately. HOUSEFULL-2, ROWDY RATHORE and OMG – OH MY GOD! hit the bull’s eye, KHILADI 786 performed average, while JOKER was the only film in 2012 that didn’t entice the viewers in hordes. Akshay wasn’t as lucky in 2013, with SPECIAL 26 faring well, but ONCE UPON A TIME IN MUMBAI DOBAARA! and BOSS not living up to the mammoth expectations. Naturally, HOLIDAY – A SOLDIER IS NEVER OFF DUTY was expected to change the tide for better, starting on a thunderous note and setting new records.
HOLIDAY – A SOLDIER IS NEVER OFF DUTY opened well in most circuits, but the response wasn’t as strong in certain pockets [plexes of some metros]. In addition, the film has had a wide release in India — close to 3500 screens — hence, the numbers had to compliment the release strategy adopted by its distributors. While the biz gathered momentum towards the evening/night shows on Friday, the total it posted at the end of Day 1 wasn’t in sync with its merits, frankly.
Since the word of mouth is supremely positive, with the multiplex audience as well as the single screen junta giving their mandate, the biz of HOLIDAY – A SOLDIER IS NEVER OFF DUTY escalated marginally on Saturday, but witnessed very good growth on Sunday. With a respectable total on hand, one will have to wait and watch if the film holds well on weekdays. HOLIDAY – A SOLDIER IS NEVER OFF DUTY is an expensive film and the film will have to hold strong from Monday to Thursday to recover a substantial chunk of the investment from theatrical avenues.
On the other hand, FILMISTAAN, which featured relative newcomers/unknown faces, was never expected to open on an earth-shattering note. This hugely entertaining film was dependent on critical acclaim and strong word of mouth to withstand a strong opponent like HOLIDAY – A SOLDIER IS NEVER OFF DUTY. Sure, the start was dull, but the biz, slowly and steadily, shot Northwards before Friday came to a close. The biz multiplied on Saturday, while Sunday too witnessed ample growth. Only goes to prove, yet again, that a good film will always find takers.