The year 2013 hasn't started on a euphoric note. MATRU KI BIJLEE KA MANDOLA, the first significant release of 2013, has failed to live up to the soaring expectations. The word of mouth is extremely mixed and that clearly reflects in its business. A substantial chunk of revenue has come in from North India, while the Makar Sankranti/Pongal holiday on Monday benefitted the film, to an extent.
Like all Vishal Bhardwaj films, MATRU KI BIJLEE KA MANDOLA is targeted at an audience that's looking beyond the stereotypical masala ventures that Bollywood is famous for. But even that section of the movie-going audience hasn't embraced the film enthusiastically. The weekend numbers should've reflected ample growth, if the elite/upper crust/gentry would've taken to the film. It was a solo release. Also, the distributors went really wide [1850 screens] this time.
A section of the industry feels that the offbeat title went against it. But there are several instances of films working despite offbeat titles... There's talk that the humor and also the Haryanvi dialect limited its reach beyond a handful of circuits. May be... Then there are those who feel that the audience is more receptive to mindless entertainers, while films like MATRU KI BIJLEE KA MANDOLA have their limitations since Vishal Bhardwaj's movies are more for a discerning, thinking audience. The fact remains that we come up with justifications [excuses?] when a movie doesn't live up to the lofty expectations [strictly from the business point of view].
MATRU KI BIJLEE KA MANDOLA hasn't worked in the international markets, which means that its principal distributor will have to tap the India theatrical and non-theatrical avenues to recoup the investment. Again, the domestic biz is below the mark. Besides, with multiple films invading the screen space week after week, MATRU KI BIJLEE KA MANDOLA seems like yet another film that had good intentions, but didn't convert into BO earnings.