Cinema is back! ‘Sooryavanshi’ lifts box-office with ‘historic’ numbers

By Akshay Acharya
Mumbai, Nov 5 (IANS)
Rohit Shetty’s “Sooryavanshi” finally released on Friday after hitting multiple roadblocks over the last 18 months, but it seems to have been worth the wait.
An addition to the director’s cop universe after “Singham” and “Simba”, “Sooryavanshi” is a classic Rohit Shetty entertainer with action, romance, humour, drama and thrills, all packaged into a delectable treat. And early reports about the Akshay Kumar-starrer’s performance across territories have been encouraging enough to make Bollywood continue its Diwali celebrations.
Talking about the opening-day response to the film, senior trade analyst and film critic Taran Adarsh said: “It is an amazing start, more so because if you look at the 50 per cent occupancy still in force in Maharashtra, which is the largest market for the movie business, contributing 35-40 per cent of the film industry’s earnings. I am confident that the film will cross the Rs 30-crore, which is fantabulous.”
Fellow analyst Komal Nahta echoes Adarsh’s sentiments: “The opening of ‘Sooryavanshi’ should be considered extraordinary. The first day collections should easily cross Rs 25 crore, which is historic in times such as these. In Maharashtra, Goa, Bihar, Jharkhand and Haryana, the theatres are running at 50 per cent occupancy.”
He also pointed out that there’s still a sense of fear among people about spending nearly three hours in a closed environment, “so the current business of Rs 25-30 crore translates into Rs 40 crore of the pre-Covid normal times.”
Nahta concluded his analysis by saying that it is “a moment of happiness” for the entire film industry. He said: “There’s palpable excitement within the industry about bouncing back and these figures speak for themselves. They prove all those people wrong who said that cinemas don’t stand a chance against OTT platforms.”
Media and Internet research analyst Karan Taurani concurred: “The response has been phenomenal, the opening-day numbers are closer to the pre-Covid figures. This was anyway expected. Earlier, people had written off the big screen, saying it wouldn’t be able to stand up against competition from OTT platforms. Ultimately, good content drives people to the cinemas. So, I think the next three to six months are going to be very strong because we have a slate of good films waiting to be released.”
Talking about the backlog of content, Taurani said: “You will now see large films coming out week after week, compared with the pre-Covid years when only one blockbuster film was released in a month. It is going to be a very good time for cinema and we will see a lot of clashes. A lot of regional films will clash with Bollywood films, and Bollywood films will clash with international or Hollywood productions.

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