The Akshay Kumar - Anees Bazmee combo have had a glorious past. WELCOME was a humungous Hit, while SINGH IS KINNG is this combo's biggest grosser ever. This film catapulted Akshay to superstardom; he stood next to SRK in that particular year. But THANK YOU, this combo's third film together, hasn't set the box-office ablaze.
Plenty of theories are doing the rounds of the industry. UTV didn't promote the film to the optimumâ€¦ Akshay's past failures made a sizable section stay away from this filmâ€¦ IPL cricket matches made a dentâ€¦ Anna Hazare's anti-corruption drive, which hit headlines and had the entire nation standing by Hazare, stole the limelight from THANK YOU.
I strong feel that a film can withstand any opposition, provided it is rich in merits. But THANK YOU stood on a weak foundation [script], which explains why the numbers didn't rise dramatically over the weekend. In fact, ideally, a biggie like THANK YOU should've collected at least Rs 25 cr + in its opening weekend - Rs 8 cr on Fri, Rs 9 cr on Sat and Rs 8 cr on Sunday. Hold on, looking at this combo's past achievements, it should be Rs 30 cr + in its first three days. But the opening weekend numbers weren't exciting. In fact, the opening weekend numbers were slightly better than PATIALA HOUSE, which had a smaller budget than THANK YOU and was released with a lesser screen count.
|3-DAY OPENING WEEKEND 2011 - INDIA|
|Yamla Pagla Deewana - 22.8 cr|
|Thank You - 17.65 cr|
|Patiala House - 15.25 cr|
|Dil Toh Baccha Hai Ji - 15 cr|
|No One Killed Jessica - 13.10 cr|
|Faltu - 13 cr [4 day wknd]|
|7 Khoon Maaf - 11.53 cr|
|Tanu Weds Manu - 11.05 cr|
|Dhobi Ghat - 10.05 cr|
|Game - 3.45 cr [4-day wknd]|
The business of THANK YOU was divided on Day 1 itself. The film didn't open well at plexes, while single screens opened much better, with the business showing an upward trend in several circuits as the day progressed. The business picked up marginally on Saturday, while Sunday showed an upswing again. However, the opening weekend business, frankly speaking, was way below the mark, given the budget of the film as also keeping in mind the screen count and the number of shows being performed.
According to a statement that I read in a newspaper on Friday, 8 April [Bombay High Court declined to grant interim relief to Feroz Khan (FK) Films on the copyright row over the song 'Pyaar Do Pyaar Lo' used by UTV in THANK YOU], Justice D Y Chandrachud while rejecting the suit observed "There has been a gross and unexplained delay by FK Films in filing the suit. Interim injunction cannot be given at this stage. The movie is slated for release on Friday and the producers have already spent Rs 60 crore on the making of the film". This statement quells all rumors about the cost of the film.
UTV had sold a few territories prior to the release of the film, which means they have recovered a chunk of the investment [Rs 15 cr] from pre-sales. The question is, will the distributors, who have acquired the film for a hefty amount, recover their investment? Or will they lose part of their investment? Also, UTV has distributed the film in three major territories - Mumbai, Delhi-U.P. and Overseas [the film is amongst Akshay's lowest openers here] - but, unfortunately, the recoveries from these territories won't be optimum. The film faces no major opposition in the coming week [TEEN THAY BHAI], so it can hope to collect some revenue from single screens mainly.
Sure, UTV has sold the Satellite Rights and Music Rights of THANK YOU for a good sum. Plus, like I pointed out above, the pre-sales of various territories have helped UTV recoup a chunk of their investment [Rs 15 cr]. But recovering the remainder amount is a big concern now.