The month of December this year has three prominent films lined up for public scrutiny -- THE DIRTY PICTURE [the verdict is out: the film is a goldmine for its investors], LADIES VS RICKY BAHL [the verdict is awaited] and of course, DON 2. LADIES VS RICKY BAHL was eyed for varied reasons. The principal reason being, it brings back the successful cast and crew of BAND BAAJA BAARAAT. Also, the second week of December has proved lucky for Yash Raj in the past [with the sole exception of ROCKET SINGH SALESMAN OF THE YEAR, which opened in the second week of December 2009]. RAB NE BANA DI JODI had opened in the second week of December 2008, while BAND BAAJA BAARAAT was unveiled in the same week in 2010. Naturally, YRF was expecting LADIES VS RICKY BAHL to prove a worthy follow up to BAND BAAJA BAARAAT.
One expected LADIES VS RICKY BAHL to stir up a storm at the ticket window, but it didn't. Frankly, the business is in sync with the merits of this film -- strictly average. Ideally, the weekend numbers should've been 20 cr nett [or more], with Week 1 closing at around Rs 33 cr/Rs 35 cr nett. Only then it would've been a worthy follow up to BAND BAAJA BAARAAT. But the film should close Week 1 at approx Rs 25 cr to Rs 26 cr, depending on how it fares on the remaining days. One expected more, for sure!
Nonetheless, Yash Raj is safe as far as the economics of LADIES VS RICKY BAHL are concerned. The film has cost approx Rs 25 cr, inclusive of print and advertising, out of which approx Rs 19 cr to 20 cr have been recovered from Satellite and other non-theatrical avenues. The balance amount -- Rs 5 cr/Rs 6 cr -- has to be recovered from India and Overseas theatrical, which is a cakewalk. LADIES VS RICKY BAHL may yield decent profits, but when you make a film in today's times -- also looking at the upswing in business -- one would've expected the film to hit the pot of gold.
The second release of the week, LANKA, made no noise whatsoever at the ticket window. There was minimal buzz prior to its release and the disastrous opening weekend business didn't come as a rude shock either.