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Trade experts predict that Avatar: The Way Of Water will open in the range of Rs. 40-50 crores; can also enter the Rs. 300 crore club

en Bollywood News Trade experts predict that Avatar: The Way Of Water will open in the range of Rs. 40-50 crores; can also enter the Rs. 300 crore club

The much-awaited Hollywood film, Avatar: The Way Of Water is all set to release this Friday, December 16. The film has been in the news due to its fast-filling shows all across the world, including India. Bollywood Hungama spoke to trade experts and exhibitors to get a sense of how the film can perform in the theatres in India.

Trade experts predict that Avatar: The Way Of Water will open in the range of Rs. 40-50 crores; can also enter the Rs. 300 crore club

Trade experts predict that Avatar: The Way Of Water will open in the range of Rs. 40-50 crores; can also enter the Rs. 300 crore club

Day 1 prediction
Trade veteran Taran Adarsh said, “The advance booking is very good. There has been a gap between the release of the previous part and Avatar: The Way Of Water. It won’t prove to be a deterrent. It’ll take a fantastic opening. Whether or not it crosses the first-day collections of Avengers: Endgame (2019) is something we’ll know closer to the release. The curiosity is humongous.”

Avengers: Endgame is the biggest Hollywood opener in India, which opened at Rs. 53.10 crores. Though Taran Adarsh is not sure whether Avatar: The Way Of Water can surpass this number, he’s confident that the James Cameron directorial can go past the first-day collections of Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021), the second biggest opener of India, which stand at Rs. 32.67 crores.

Taran Adarsh added, “Spider-Man’s collections will be crossed. That and Avengers belong to the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the advantage was that those films came in quick succession. And its characters are also quite well-known. Here, there has been a 13-year gap. So the generation that came, later on, might not know about Avatar’s characters unless they have seen it on digital platforms. However, in the case of Avatar: The Way Of Water, the biggest star of the film is James Cameron who has delivered humongous films. His name itself ensures that you walk into a theatre.”

Vishek Chauhan, owner of Roopbani Cinema in Bihar, is quite gung-ho about the opening of the film. He said, “The opening will be extraordinary. Despite having the highest ATP (Average Ticket Price) in my cinema, the advance sales are super-strong.” The ticket rates in his cinemas are Rs. 240 for normal seats and Rs. 400 for the recliner class.

He revealed, “If I have to compare, this is the fourth-biggest advance in the year in my theatre after KGF - Chapter 2, Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness and Brahmastra. The ticket sales are a little less than Brahmastra.”

Vishek then made a very grand prediction about the first-day numbers, “Avatar: The Way Of Water can open at Rs. 60 to 70 crores. This will easily be a record-opener. What it’ll collect in the North, the collections will be double in the Southern states, proportionately. There’s complete madness down South for this film.” He continued, “If word of mouth is strong, yeh film toh cinema gharon mein aag laga degi! Also, it’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience.”

Trade analyst Atul Mohan stated, “The advance is decent. The opening will be around the numbers of Spider-Man: No Way Home. Avatar: The Way Of Water has an advantage as it has got more shows and unlike Spider-Man, it won’t have restrictions like 50% occupancy. Also, the high ticket prices will go in its favour.”

He then said, “If the word of mouth is strong, then the collections will multiply manifold. Like if it opens at around Rs. 32 crores on Friday, it can jump to Rs. 40 or Rs. 45 crores on Saturday and Sunday if reports are positive.”

Raj Bansal, the owner of Entertainment Paradise in Jaipur, opined, “The advance is very good. It’ll open in the range of Rs. 38-40 crores.” He explained, “The pricing is sky-high because of the popularity and I guess they want to recover the huge investment that has gone into making this film. Fortunately, for them, all cinemas are available and devoid of any other exciting content. This is the biggest advantage for them.”

Regarding the pre-release sales, he said, “In many cities, there’s hardly any advance. Spot booking will play a crucial part. In major cities, the tickets have been sold. In the rest of the country, it’ll pick up from Thursday and on Friday, on-the-spot bahut tickets bikegi. The film’s reports, I heard, are very positive. This can further help the film.”

In agreement, Taran Adarsh exulted, “As per the reports, the ticket sales are far more in South and urban centres and not so strong in mass centres. But never underestimate spot bookings. It can change the game! Friday, hence, will be the deciding factor. Nevertheless, whatever happens on the release day, the film is definitely a box office bonanza.”

Inflated ticket rates: Boon or bane for the makers?
A section of the audience has complained about the inflated ticket prices. Bollywood Hungama reported last week that it’s cheaper to watch this film in the IMAX version in the USA, the UK and UAE than in India!

When asked about this, Taran Adarsh said, “Well, people are buying the tickets. It means that they want to watch the film as they have confidence in the maker and the product. For a common man, yes, it’s definitely going to pinch. Irrespective of the hue and cry, I don’t think the trend is going to stop. The multiplexes and the studios will continue to inflate ticket prices even in the future for event films.” He also mentioned a reason why people will be ready to shell out money for the film, “It’s a festive period with the holiday season around the corner.”

Atul Mohan gave thumbs down to the decision to go for very high ticket pricing, “When the ticket prices are so high, a section of moviegoers goes on a back foot. They feel, ‘Baad mein dekhte hai film’.” He also said, “If the rates were less, the ticket sales would have been more.”

Vishek Chauhan opined, “The rate should have been a little less. Disney should look into it. I know it’s a very expensive film and will be a treat on the big screen. However, I feel the rates in the smaller towns should be less as more and more people should be encouraged to watch it. That will help build the audience base for this franchise. This is a one-of-its-kind film. Let’s not deprive the weaker section of the experience by hiking the price. We have increased the rates by Rs. 100 and that is too much for an aam aadmi. The per capita income in a state like Bihar is Rs. 50,000 annually. For my district Purnea, it’s Rs. 6000 annually. So the price of 1 ticket is like 4% of their annual income. It’s not justified.”

Along the same lines, Raj Bansal made an important point, “I don’t think it’s justified. This is the reason why advance has not picked up in smaller towns and cities. In metros, people are used to such kind of pricing, especially for Hollywood movies, and hence, the advance there is strong. But in B and C centres like Chandigarh, Jaipur, Indore etc, it’s not very easy to sell tickets at such prices.”

Lifetime predictions?
Lastly, if all goes well and if it withstands competition from Rohit Shetty’s Cirkus, which releases next week, can Avatar: The Way Of Water get an entry into the Rs. 300 crore club? Taran Adarsh doesn’t deny the possibility, “There’s a strong possibility unless Cirkus emerges as a typhoon of sorts at the box office and poses a strong opposition to Avatar: The Way Of Water in mass circuits. Yet, I feel Avatar will find patronage. There’s no stopping this one. My confidence stems from the fact that James Cameron is a genius. His films give a once-in-a-lifetime experience.”

Raj Bansal disagreed, “A lifetime of Rs. 300 crores is not possible with such prices. On weekdays, it’ll majorly impact footfalls. Or else, they’ll have to bring their prices down from Monday, which is unlikely.”

Also Read: Box Office: Avatar: The Way Of Water sells over 3 lakh 30 thousand tickets through advance booking

More Pages: Avatar: The Way of Water (English) Box Office Collection , Avatar: The Way of Water (English) Movie Review


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