Over the years Salman Khan has become synonymous with Eid releases; in fact the actor’s festive releases have since become a mandate with fans eagerly anticipating their release. Well this year too we see Salman Khan gifting his fans an Eidi in the form of the film Bharat. Directed by Ali Abbas Zafar the film sees the return of Salman Khan and Katrina Kaif after their last cinematic outing Tiger Zinda Hai. While promotions for the film are on, we at Bollywood Hungama decided to analyse the opening day business prospects of the film and caught up with a few eminent trade experts to know more.
Given that the release date of the film also marks the first World Cup match India will play [against South Africa] expectations about the business of Bharat are mixed. As film critic and trade analyst Amod Mehra says, “Salman Khan’s Eid releases have become a festival of sorts. As of now all things are in favour of the film, but I have to admit that the trailer of the film is not that very exciting. But given the factors I feel that the film will take a big opening.” Continuing to talk about the competition from the World Cup Mehra adds, “That same day India plays their first World Cup match, and I would say that it will certainly dent or rather hinder the box office prospect of Bharat.”
While Mehra optimistically puts the opening day collections figure of Bharat at Rs. 35 cr, film trade analyst Girish Johar claims that the Salman Khan starrer could easily draw in Rs. 40 cr. “It is a little too early right now, but obviously a big number is on the cards. It is an Eid release and seeing that Salman releases are taken as festivals by the audience, the business will be good. But there is also the India match on the same day so it has to be seen how much of an effect the cricket match will have on the film’s collections. This will be clearer closer to the release, but I am still expecting a good start between Rs. 35-40 cr.” When prodded for an explanation about the estimated collection figure, Johar continues, “These days content of films has become very important, and with social media the audience is attuned to reactions from others. Also the match is starting at 3 PM IST so from that time on there will be a slight effect on the business of the film, but despite that everything is looking positive for the film and hence this number.” Echoing a similar sentiment, Trade Analyst Taran Adarsh adds, “Salman Khan’s combination with Ali Abbas Zafar is unbeatable. And then you have a title like Bharat that connects you with the film immediately. Plus this is an official adaptation of a Korean film so you can expect emotional currents right through the film, so effectively Bharat will open to a huge start.”
Further talking about another aspect of a film that makes a huge impact on the opening day collections Amod Mehra references the music of Bharat. “Right now the buzz around Bharat isn’t what it should be. Hopefully over the next 10 days we will see an increase in this. Also the couple of tracks that have released till now are not really hits as such. But with still time till the release there is plenty of scope for things to change”, says Mehra. However, toing a different line about the film’s music, Girish Johar says, “See the music from Salman Khan’s films is very different. The songs pick up after the release of his movie, since the way they are depicted, shown and used in the film changes the perception towards them. So given this fact, apart from a good opening there are chances of the film’s business seeing an increase over time.”
Stating that India’s first World Cup match will not have much of an effect on the business of Bharat Taran Adarsh continues saying, “In today’s times of advance booking and online bookings people will book tickets accordingly. So though during that particular time of the match a certain section of the audience will prefer to stay at home and watch the match there are others who will opt instead for the film. So effectively there will not be that drastic an effect on the collections of Bharat. Unless of course the match is something like an India – Pakistan match where everyone will be hooked.”
Concluding the explanation Taran signs off, “Given all the factors, Salman Khan, Ali Abbas Zafar, Eid release and a five day weekend, the business of the film will be massive and a huge weekend as well.”